'Folks are coming back to the market': Durham responds to strong jobs report

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ByCindy Bae via WTVD logo
Friday, August 5, 2022 10:26PM
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Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities, according to federal data.

The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, which is more than double the amount that economists expected.

The data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday showed sectors that had some of the biggest gains, such as leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care.

"I feel like it was fairly easy to find options," Audrey Kunselman said. Kunselman, who graduated in December of 2021, moved from Alabama to North Carolina to work as a nurse at Duke Health.

"I feel like there were a ton of nursing positions that was open because health care is in such dire need of health care workers now, like in all aspects of it," Kunselman said.

Job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities, according to federal data.

The unemployment rate also fell to 3.5%, back to pre-pandemic levels.

In North Carolina, chief economist Gerald Cohen discussed what the Triangle area is seeing.

"The Triangle area is an area where you're seeing a lot of job creation, a lot of people moving into the area," Cohen said. "So even if there is a recession, this data, again, does not suggest that's the case. It could be that the Triangle area would not necessarily have declining growth, it would likely slow. This data just says that the Triangle economy ... will remain supercharged."

The July jobs report come as restaurateurs Leonardo and Zweli Williams are preparing to open a third restaurant in Durham.

Ekhaya is coming to the American Tobacco Campus in Fall 2022.

"We are taking African food and kind of modernizing it to be tapas," Zweli Williams said. "We just want to bring more awareness to African food."

The owners hope it will be a diverse environment for people to work in. Leonardo Williams, who is also a Durham City Councilman, said the Bull City is seeing a turn in the labor market, especially at the entry level.

"Folks are coming back to the market, they're coming back to work," Leonardo Williams said. "We offer careers, not just jobs and the environment in which we employ and work together as a work family, that's everything to us."

The couple said they'll continue to build in Durham and support local, including hiring locally.

"We're hiring for a social media position, manager, we want it to be local," Leonardo said. "We're contracting artists to come in to beautify all of our locations. We want to give folks a salary and healthcare, that's how we're investing. That's what Durham small business is all about."