The employment outlook for the Winston-Salem area is upbeat for the third quarter, as employers’ hiring expectations are higher.

According to a Manpower Inc. survey scheduled for release today, 29% of employers in Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes and Yadkin counties plan to add jobs, up from 21% both in the second quarter and a year ago.

It is the highest local percentage for the Manpower survey since 29% in the fourth quarter of 2017, which represented an 11-year high at that time.

The hiring projection ranks tied with Raleigh for last among the four North Carolina metropolitan statistical areas surveyed, as well as below the 32% expecting to add jobs statewide.

The number of Winston-Salem area employers expecting to eliminate jobs remained at 2% — the same as the second quarter and a year ago.

That means the Winston-Salem area has a net positive employment outlook of 27%, also tied for last with Raleigh among the four metro areas.

The Greensboro-High Point MSA had 32% of employers planning to hire in the third quarter — up from 28% a year ago, but down from 36% in the second quarter. The number expecting to decrease staff was at 4%, up from 1% in the second quarter and a year ago.

The increased hiring projections come as the Triad’s jobless rate was at 3.5% percent in April. The rate was at a near 18-year low of 3% in September.

According to Manpower, local hiring prospects are positive for most of the 11 private-sector categories: construction, financial activities, nondurable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information technology, education and health services, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and other services.

Government hiring is projected to be flat, as well as durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities.

“The labor force numbers for the Winston-Salem metro area in April are fairly similar to what they were a year ago,” said John Quinterno, a principal with South by North Strategies Ltd., a research firm in Chapel Hill that specializes in economic and social policy.

“Basically, the region grew enough to keep pace with the growth in the size of the overall labor force.

“To the extent that people are working in precarious jobs with poor or stagnant wages, the low unemployment rate may not be translating into improvements in well-being,” he said.

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rcraver@wsjournal.com 336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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