Triangle jobless rate dips to 4.8% in April

The Triangle jobless rate dipped to 4.8 percent in April from 4.9 percent a month earlier as the region’s economy continues recording strong job gains.

The data was issued Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce and seasonally adjusted by Wells Fargo in Charlotte.

The Triangle’s jobless rate remains lower than the national average of 5 percent and also below North Carolina’s average of 5.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in the region has remained fairly constant in the past year. It was 4.9 percent in April 2015 and hit a 12-month low of 4.7 percent in January.

Even though the jobless rate is stable, the region continues adding jobs. The Triangle added 1,100 jobs in April; over the past year, the area added 25,700 jobs.

“That’s pretty strong growth,” said Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner. “We’re seeing job gains across most industries.”

Over the past year, the Triangle gained jobs in education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; information fields, leisure and hospitality, as well as professional business services.

The Triangle’s job gains grew at a rate of 3.1 percent in the past year, compared to a national average rate of 1.9 percent, Vitner said.

At the same time, the Triangle’s labor force grew at a rate of 2.8 percent, while the national labor force grew at 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, Vitner noted.

The labor force comprises people working and those looking for work. As long as the labor force keeps up with job gains, the jobless rate will not budge.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski