The Triangle's unemployment rate remained at 8.9 percent in March, a sign that the region's dramatic rise in unemployment is likely coming to an end.
"There's some genuine improvement that's taking place out there," said Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wells Fargo in Charlotte. "There seems to be some more interest in hiring workers but folks are not doing so in a huge way just yet."
On Friday, the N.C. Employment Security Commission reported that the unemployment rate for the Raleigh-Durham-Cary market was 8.7 percent, down from 9.4 percent in February. But those figures are not seasonally adjusted.
The News & Observer reports seasonally adjusted figures from Wells Fargo.
Vitner said there is typically a large drop this time of year in unemployment rates that are not seasonally adjusted. That drop reflects the natural increase in economic activity that comes with more daylight and improving weather.
"The question is how much, more or less, is it picking up this spring compared to other springs," Vitner said.
The state unemployment rate was 11.1 percent in March.
Raleigh and Charlotte continue to be the largest job-creation centers, Vitner said. From December 2009 to December 2010, he predicts the two regions will add 15,000 to 18,000 jobs each - about three-quarters of the state's total job growth.