by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

Unemployment rate drops across state, Triad counties

Triad counties generally conform to statewide employment trends that saw the unemployment rate drop about half a percentage point from March to April and roughly 1 point since April 2011.

Counties in the western part of the region continued to fare better, with rural Davie County boasting 8.1 percent compared to 8.5 percent in urban Forsyth County, 8.4 percent in Yadkin County and 8.7 percent in Stokes County. Surry County, home to Mount Airy, was the outlier of the western counties, with 9.8 percent unemployment.

Urban Guilford County struggled with 9.1 percent unemployment, down from 9.5 percent in March and from 10.2 percent in April 2011, while neighboring Alamance, Randolph and Rockingham coped with respective rates of 9.0, 9.7 and 10.4 percent.

The Greensboro/High Point metro area added 2,300 manufacturing jobs, 900 professional and business services jobs and 700 construction jobs over the past 12 months, offset by a loss of 800 government jobs, while the Winston-Salem metro area added 800 leisure and hospitality jobs, and 500 jobs each in trade, transportation and utilities, and in government.

Guilford and Forsyth counties, unsurprisingly, led the region in unemployment insurance benefits paid out over the past year, with $184.6 million and $121.2 million respectively.