Triangle ranked among top 5 for job growth

RALEIGH A survey by placement firm Manpower suggests the Triangle's job growth rate could hit 16 percent sometime this spring.

"We have seen some increase," said Diane Johnson with Manpower. "We've seen a lot of projects that were put on hold in the last 18 months that are now being active. So we're looking for new talent. New projects are starting in the technology area. And that's a good sign."

Business has also improved for Custom Glass & Doors owner Trip Cathcart.

"We've been hearing it from our customers for months now, so it's nice to see," he said.

Cathcart carves stained glass into windows, but the recession slashed his workforce from 15 to four.

High-end glass is tied to the building of high-end homes and Cathcart says some time in 2007, glass sales broke down almost overnight.

"It was the first time we had to lay off people in 25 years, ever," Cathcart said. "Stressful, scary - we had to make some really, really tough decisions."

Despite signs of a turn around, the state's unemployment rate still hovers above 11 percent.

"I think for the smaller employers, they may be a little bit more cautious," Johnson said.

Even if a recovery has started, Cathcart says the 10 jobs blown out by the recession at Custom Glass are not coming back any time soon.

"I see a steady slow increase, which we are grateful for and very optimistic," he said. "But I don't see it exploding from four to five employees to 15 in the next year or two."

Manpower's national employer survey says only Anchorage, Alaska and Burlington, Vermont scored better than the Triangle for projected job growth this year.

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