Poverty Study Key Findings: Employment
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Figure 1: Unemployment Rates by Geography, 2006-2015
- As seen in Figure 1, in 2007 the unemployment rate in Forsyth County was significantly lower than that of North Carolina and the majority of the peer communities.
- It not was until 2012 and 2014 that the unemployment rate in Forsyth County was higher than that of the majority of its peer communities.
- However, in 2015 Forsyth County’s unemployment rate was no longer higher than the majority of peer communities.
Figure 2: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Work Status in Forsyth County, 2014
- According to Figure 2, residents who are unemployed or are working part-time are at higher risk of poverty than those working full time.
* Data for full-time employed residents in poverty has a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution
Figure 3: Percent of Residents Employed by Geography, 2014
- Figure 3 illustrates that the percentage of residents working full-time jobs is lower in Forsyth County than in the majority of peer communities.
- Since employees working part-time are at a higher risk of poverty, this could contribute to Forsyth County’s poverty rate.
*Bars of a lighter color indicate no statistical difference compared to Forsyth County.
Figure 4: Unemployment Rate by Age Group in Forsyth County, 2014
Figure 5: Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity in Forsyth County, 2014
- Figures 4 and 5 show significant age and race disparities in unemployment, respectively.
- Younger residents, especially those under the age of 35 are more likely to be unemployed than older residents.
- African-American residents in particular have an unemployment rate almost three times that of White, non-Hispanic residents.
- Significant disparities in unemployment by age and race could be contributing to higher poverty rates for young residents and people of color, but other analyses suggest that additional factors contribute to these disparities as well.
Figure 6: Employment of Forsyth County Residents in the Top Five Sectors in 2006-2014
- Many community members have suggested that a decline in manufacturing has lead to increased poverty rates.
- Figure 6 shows between 2006 and 2014, the number of manufacturing jobs declined by 35% (8,500 jobs).
- Declines in employment in this sector could lead to an increase in poverty, but this link cannot be directly established with the data available.
Figure 7: Job Quality for Adult Workers Not in School, 2014
* This estimate has a high level of variance and may not be suitable for all uses
- Figure 7 shows workers are either in jobs where they have both sufficient wages and income or neither.
- About half of workers have both sufficient wages and income.
- A small portion obtains sufficient income only through overtime work.
- A small portion works part time with insufficient income, but could earn enough with full time work.
- About a third of workers do not earn sufficient income and, due to low hourly wages, could only do so through overtime.
- Most work full time or more.
- 29% of workers are in this quadrant and work at least full time.
- 5% of workers are in this quadrant and work part time.