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N.C. jobless rate drops to 9.7 percent in March

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Article Published: Apr. 26, 2012 | Modified: Apr. 26, 2012

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.2 of a percentage point to 9.7 percent from February’s revised rate of 9.9 percent, as the number of persons unemployed decreased by 12,092 to 451,657.

“Since the start of the year, the rate has dropped three consecutive months,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “Over-the-year figures continue to show improving numbers, with the private sec­tor gaining more than 37,000 jobs. Finding North Carolinians work through our programs and services available at our local offices remains our priority.”

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, decreased by 1,300 to 3,958,900 in March.

Since March 2011, total nonfarm jobs gained 38,800, with the majority of the gain coming from the private sector (37,200). The major industry with the largest over-the-month increase was financial activities, which gained 1,600.

The largest over-the-year increase of major industries was in education and health services, which gained 11,500 jobs, followed by trade, transportation and utilities at 11,400.

Other significant increases included professional and business services at 6,700 and leisure and hospitality services, 4,800.

The number of people employed increased by 4,240 to 4,228,180 over the month, and by 63,805 over the year. The state unemployment rate in March 2011 was 10.4 percent.

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