Core Indicator: Employment

Unemployment is a significant disruption of financial stability.  Unemployment may last for only a short time or the situation can be long term, which can hinder a household’s ability to be economically self-sufficient. (2) 

Unemployment in this section is measured using the unemployment rate.  The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of those who are in the labor force and are not employed, but are actively seeking employment.  The labor force is comprised of civilian residents (e.g. not on active duty in the Armed Forces) who are at least 16 years old and are not residing in an institutional setting (e.g. jails or prisons, mental health care facilities, or nursing homes). (1)

Dashboard: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County

Trend: Forsyth County and Peer Communities

Figure 1: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2006-2016

Data for Roanoke and Lafayette have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Data for Pulaski County for 2016 also have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.


Trend: Forsyth County and Peer Communities

Figure 2: Labor Force Participation Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2006-2016
The labor force is comprised of civilian residents (e.g. not on active duty in Armed Forces) who are at least 16 years old and are not residing in an institutional setting (e.g. jails or prisons, mental health care facilities, or nursing homes).

Forsyth County and Peer Communities

Figure 3: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2016

Data for Pulaski, Roanoke and Lafayette have high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Bars of lighter color are not significantly different from Forsyth County.

Unemployment by Age


Figure 4: Unemployment Rate by Age in Forsyth County, 2016


The unemployment rate by age is not significantly different.  Data for unemployed residents by age have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Due to high margins of error, a more detailed breakdown of unemployment by age would be unreliable.

Unemployment by Race/Ethnicity

Figure 5: Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity in Forsyth County, 2016

Data for African Americans and White, non-Hispanics have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Due to lack of availability of data for Hispanic/Latinos, this group is not included in the analysis.

Unemployment by Gender

Figure 6: Unemployment Rate by Gender in Forsyth County, 2016

Data for unemployment rate by gender has a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  The unemployment rate of males and females in Forsyth County in 2016 is not significantly different.



Unemployment by Location

Figure 7: Unemployment by Census Tract in Forsyth County, 2011-2015

Data for individual census tracts can have high margins of error, which sometimes happens when measuring relatively small groups.  This map is intended to help identify patterns at a high level; please contact Amanjot Kaur at Forsyth Futures for data on specific census tracts.

Extended Analysis: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County

Core Concepts

  • The unemployment rate of Forsyth County was higher than most peer communities in 2012 and 2014.  In 2016 Forsyth County was not significantly different from most peer communities.
  • The unemployment rate of African American residents is almost three times as high as that of  White, non-Hispanic residents in 2016.
Figure 1: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2006-2016
  • As shown in Figure 1, the unemployment rate increased from 6% in 2006 to 12% in 2009, stayed at this peaked rate from 2009 to 2012, and then decreased to 5% in 2016.
  • The unemployment rate of Forsyth County was lower than most of the peer communities in 2007, but in 2012 and 2014 the unemployment rate of Forsyth County was higher than in most of the peer communities.
Data for Roanoke and Lafayette have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Data for Pulaski County for 2016 also have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.

Figure 2: Labor Force Participation Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2006-2016
The labor force participation rate measures the population working or looking for work.  Examining the relationship between the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate helps indicate whether changes in the unemployment rate are due to people finding work or due to people dropping out of the labor force.
  • Figure 2 shows that the labor force participation rate of Forsyth County has decreased from 2006 to 2016, suggesting that some residents who were working or looking for work in 2006 may have retired or stopped looking for work by 2016, which could contribute to the decrease in the unemployment rate.
  • The labor force participation rate of Forsyth County was lower than most of the peer communities from 2007 to 2010, and from 2011 to 2016 the labor force participation rate of Forsyth County was not significantly different from most of the peer communities.  Unemployment rates lower than those in peer communities from 2007 to 2010 could be partially due to a lower labor force participation rate during that time period.


Figure 3: Unemployment Rate in Forsyth County as Compared to Peer Communities, 2016
Figure 3 shows that the unemployment rate of Forsyth County is not significantly different from any of the peer communities.

Data for Pulaski, Roanoke, and Lafayette have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Bars of lighter color are not significantly different from Forsyth County.

Figure 4: Unemployment Rate by Age in Forsyth County, 2016
The unemployment rate measures the percentage of residents currently seeking employment.  This excludes full-time students, stay-at-home parents, and other people not seeking work.   

The unemployment rate by age appears different in Figure 4, but this difference is not statistically significant.


Data for residents unemployed by age have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Due to high margins of error, a more detailed breakdown of unemployment by age would be unreliable.

Figure 5: Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity in Forsyth County, 2016
As shown in Figure 5, the unemployment rate of African Americans residents is about 11%, which is almost three times as high as that of White, non-Hispanic residents.

Data for African Americans residents and White, non-Hispanic residents have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.  Due to lack of availability of data for Hispanic/Latinos, this group is not included in the analysis.

Figure 6: Unemployment Rate by Gender in Forsyth County, 2016
The unemployment rate by gender appears different in Figure 6, but this difference is not statistically significant.

Data for unemployment rate by gender has a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.


Figure 7: Unemployment Rate by Census Tract, 2011-2015
Figure 7 shows that the census tracts with high unemployment rates are mostly clustered around the Highway 52 and central areas of Forsyth County.
Data for individual census tracts can have high margins of error, which sometimes happens when measuring relatively small groups.  This map is intended to help identify patterns at a high level; please contact Amanjot Kaur at  Forsyth Futures for data on specific census tracts.

Amanjot Kaur MPH, CPH
Amanjot Kaur is a Data and Research Analyst with Forsyth Futures. She performs scientific analysis with existing data, as well as reviews and analyzes evidence pertaining to Forsyth County community issues. She holds a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. In her free time, Amanjot loves going on adventures.
If you have questions or comments about the data presented in this section, please contact Amanjot Kaur at Amanjot@ForsythFutures.org or by phone at 336.701.1700 ext. 109.

References

Literature References

  1. U.S. Department of Commerce. (2012). ACS Employment status data by block group, 2006-2010. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/people/laborforce/about/acs_employ.html
  2. Pew Charitable Trust. (2013). Hard choices navigating the economic shock of unemployment. Retrieved from http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2013/empreportoverviewhardchoicesnavigatingtheeconomicshockofunemploymentpdf.pdf

Tabular References


Figures 1-3,5:   U.S. Department of Commerce. (2017). Employment status: Table S2301 [Data files from ACS 1-year estimates for the years 2006-2016]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_S2301&prodType=table

Figure 4:   U.S. Department of Commerce. (2016). American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata [Data files from PUMS 5-year estimates for the years 2011-2015]. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/data/pums.html

Figure 6:   U.S. Department of Commerce. (2017). Poverty status in past 12 months of individuals by sex by employment status: Table B17005 [ Data files from ACS 1-year estimates for the year 2016]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_B17005&prodType=table

Figure 7: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2016). Employment status: Table S2301 [Data files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2011-2015]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_5YR_S2301&prodType=table