The Triangle’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent in October, rising just incrementally – by about 0.06 percent – from the previous month.
The region’s jobless rate has held relatively steady over the past half-year, dipping as low as 4 percent in the summer before rising again. But over the past 12 months unemployment in the Triangle has fallen from 4.8 percent.
The data was issued this week by the N.C. Department of Commerce and seasonally adjusted for The N&O by Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte.
Statewide and national jobless rates, issued previously, were both 4.9 percent in October.
The Triangle’s jobless rate is essentially stuck because, even as the Triangle keeps adding jobs, the labor force continues adding new job seekers to the economy. A falling jobless rate that is primarily caused by a shrinking labor pool is regarded as an unhealthy economic development.
The Triangle added 5,300 jobs in October, and the labor force grew by 4,500 people. The labor force consists of workers and job seekers.
In the first 10 months of 2016, the region added 27,700 jobs, while the labor force added 21,300 people.
And over the past 12 months, the Triangle added 37,700 jobs, and the labor force kept up by adding 32,500 people to the rolls of workers and job seekers.
Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner said the region’s job growth has been “phenomenal,” expanding at a rate of 3.7 percent in the past year, compared to a national average of 1.5 percent.
The fastest-growing sectors are in technology, business and professional services.