NC unemployment rate drops slightly

Posted March 25, 2011 10:54 a.m. EDT
Updated March 25, 2011 11:44 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina's unemployment rate decreased slightly as the state added 17,400 non-farm jobs in February, the state Employment Security Commission reported Friday.

The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point from January, to 9.7 percent. Excluding the farm industry, North Carolina's economy has added 30,500 jobs so far this year.

"We are showing signs of slow but steady progress, with job gains in February and over the year," ESC Chairwoman Lynn R. Holmes said in a statement.

Seasonally adjusted numbers show that 4,030,025 people were working in North Carolina this past month. The number of people unemployed decreased by 4,275, to 435,297.

A year ago, the unemployment rate was 11.4 percent. Since then, the labor force has shrunk by nearly 92,000 people, with 84,742 fewer unemployed workers and 7,220 fewer employed workers.

In February, the professional and business sectors saw the biggest gain in jobs, at 6,800. The construction and education and health services fields also added more than 4,000 jobs each.

The government sector had the biggest loss, at 3,000 jobs, while the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 1,600 jobs.