RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent in April from 9.7 percent in March, the state reported Friday.
The number of people receiving unemployment benefits declined by 12,686 to 439,368, according to the Labor and Economic Analysis Division at the state's Department of Commerce.
The number of people working grew by 1,471 to nearly 4.23 million, the state said.
Helping drive down the jobless rate was a drop of 11,215 people in the work force. When people no longer receive unemployment benefits or are no longer looking for work, they are not counted in the labor force.
Unemployment has now declined four consecutive months.
The national jobless rate in April was 8.1 percent.
The state unemployment rate was 10.4 percent a year ago.
The N.C. rate is seasonally adjusted for factors such as weather.
“Since January of 2010, our rate has dropped by two full percentage points and employers have added more than 100,000 jobs,” N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll noted in a statement about the new numbers.
Since the jobless rate hit 10.7 percent in July and August of last year, it has fallen steadily, dropping under 10 percent to 9.9 percent in February.
Over the past year, employers have added 30,300 jobs with 25,500 of those coming in the private sector.