The Triangle's jobless rate rose slightly in June, reflecting the fragile state of the economic recovery.
This region remains relatively healthy compared with the state and the nation, but the local unemployment rate is high by historical standards.
The rate increased to 8 percent in June from a revised 7.9 percent in May, according to data released today by the N.C. Employment Security Commission and adjusted for seasonal effects by Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner.
The seasonally adjusted numbers provide better comparisons, economists say. The ESC adjusts the state's jobless rate each month.
Some of the increase in the local rate can be tied to lost government jobs as the Census winds down, and more people giving up looking for work, Vitner said.
"The longer range trend is still down," he added. "We're seeing a more good news and less bad news. We're seeing a pick-up in hiring plans."
Employers in sectors such as technology and manufacturing are expanding again, and tourism is rebounding, making hotels and restaurants busier, he added.
The Triangle jobless rate will likely continue to rise during the next several months, as more people reenter the workforce, Vitner said.
Nearly 67,000 people in this region were counted as unemployed last month, the ESC reported. That doesn't include people who have stopped looking for work.
In recent weeks, companies such as Ceridian, a business services provider, and Kuehne + Nagel, a shipping firm, have announced plans to close local operations and eliminate hundreds of jobs.
But that negative news has been tempered by recent announcements from companies such as IBM and Becton Dickinson about plans to add hundreds of new jobs.
The state rate fell to 10 percent in June, but remained above the national rate of 9.5 percent. Last month, 55 of North Carolina's 100 counties had jobless rates at 10 percent or higher.
In Charlotte, the state's largest metropolitan area, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 10.7 percent in June from 11 percent in May. That market has a higher concentration of jobs in the hard-hit financial services and manufacturing sectors.
"We still have a long way to go," Vitner said.