Chair City’s unemployment rate sees downward trend

Jobs forecast encouraging
Sep. 04, 2013 @ 05:05 PM
  • Thomasville's improving employment numbers received more good news with some recent job announcements.
  • According to the N.C. Division of Employment Security, Thomasville's July unemployment rate registered 10.2 percent, which is a half-percent decrease from this time a year ago. The Chair City currently has 10,669 employed workers compared to 1,215 who are unemployed.
  • "Typically in May and June we tend to see these labor forces go up as more people enter the workforce for summer jobs," said Larry Parker, spokesperson for N.C. Division of Employment Security. "July and August is when folks start backing out of the labor force and start heading back to school and stuff like that.”
  • Thomasville's labor force is 11,884, which also is down from the 12,002 mark in July 2012. 
  • "In Thomasville's case, the number of employed is really down a slight number, the number of unemployed is down slightly and the labor decreased overall," Parker said. "With a smaller labor force for the city of just over 12,000 folks it's not going to take much change in the labor force to have a change in the rate."
  • A flurry of recent job announcements could help the local unemployment rate continue its downward trend. Unilin Flooring, the country's largest laminate floor supplier, is establishing a 24/7 operation and is adding 14 jobs. Mil-Chem Manufacturing plans to renovate the former Executive Delivery Service facility on Albertson Road as part of a $2.3 million local investment that includes the addition of 30 jobs. SV Plastics LLC, an injections molding firm, plans to invest $2.2 million to renovate two buildings on HIgh Tech Boulevard that will lead to the creation of 11 jobs. 
  • "If you look at the overall state, you see that jobs are up in most sectors outside construction and government," said Parker. "Every other sector has an increase. That slow climb back from the job loss of the recession is slowly taking place. I think we've been slowly moving in the right direction. We've had the same constant lately — small but consistent job growth. We may miss a month here or there but the over-the-year look is showing positive numbers in virtually every sector."
  • Thomasville's unemployment rate, however, still is above the county and state rate. Davidson County in July experienced a slight dip in its unemployment rate, dropping from 9.7 to 9.6 over the past month. North Carolina has an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, as nearly 400,000 people actively looking for work can't find a job.
  • Guilford and Randolph counties both experienced decreases in their unemployment rates in July.
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  • Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.