2-2-2022 – Unemployment rate drops in metro area

Posted on: February 2nd, 2022 by admin No Comments


February 2, 2022




Jan 31, 2022


The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton (HLM) metropolitan area non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month of Nov., 2021 was 3.1%.


This is a drop in HLM’s previous unemployment rate of 3.4%, which was reported a month earlier.


HLM metro area’s November unemployment rate is lower than the state’s average rate of 3.9% rate for the same time period.


There are approximately 176,284 individuals that comprise the HLM metro area’s non-seasonally adjusted labor force; of those individuals, 170,815 were employed, and 5,469 were unemployed.


Data are fragments of a larger complex puzzle. Figures may not capture factors such as the number of individuals who may not actively be seeking employment, those whose qualifications and skills sets do not match with companies that are recruiting, or those who may or may not have returned to pre-existing positions post COVID mandated quarantine for what the government deemed as non-essential jobs.


Major industries in the HLM metro area that saw increases in the number of jobs between November and December (2021) were: manufacturing, 700 jobs; trade/transportation/and utilities, 700 jobs; leisure/hospitality services, 400 jobs; and professional and business services, 300 jobs.


Manufacturing businesses in the area are actively recruiting new employees by offering on-the-job training, sign-on packages, employee benefit programs, and opportunities for professional growth.


“We currently have over 70 job openings of all skill sets — in the corporate office, facilities and plants there is a wide range of jobs,” said William Howard, vice president, Bernhardt Furniture Company. “We are striving every day to do what we can to get people to come and work with us.”



Local business and industries also participate and host job fairs. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center located at 313 Greenhaven Dr. N.W is hosting a JBS, Lenoir, Inc. job fair on Feb. 15 from 1 p.m. — 4 p.m.


Technical experience may be desired, but is not always required. Some technical skills can be developed through on the job training.


Spokespersons with local manufacturing companies praised the efforts of Caldwell County Schools and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute for working to develop career and technical skills by offering relevant programs and training opportunities to their students.


Companies are looking to hire individuals with a willingness to work; a dedication to good work ethics such as being willing to come to work every day, on time and being ready to work, and a desire to do a good job. Another desirable trait is a willingness to learn and grow.


Local companies have expressed that they value their employees and have a desire to help them advance within the company.


“We are a great place to work, we value our employees and we have work available. The jobs are here. If someone wants to come in on an entry level, we have development programs,” said Krista Bridgwood, human resource manager, Bemis Manufacturing Company. “There is plenty of opportunity for growth and someone can carve out a career at our facility.”


Durable jobs that offer security are currently available in Lenoir, and surrounding areas.


“We have been in business for 133 years. It is one of the oldest furniture companies in the country and it is still owned and managed by the original family and we take a lot of pride in that,” Howard said of Bernhardt. “We have a lot of wonderful good employees; we need more. We are a good place to work.”

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