NC's unemployment rate dips in September, October

Posted November 22, 2013 10:50 a.m. EST

— North Carolina employers added thousands of jobs in September and October, helping push the state's unemployment rate down to 8 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the state Department of Commerce. 

Numbers from September, when the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, had been delayed until Friday because of the 16-day partial government shutdown at the beginning of October.

The national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in October, up from 7.2 percent in September. 

The number of people employed in September and October combined increased 19,063 to 4,294,153. The state's labor force shrank, however, falling 18,668 to 4,665,909. 

The number of unemployed people fell by more than 37,000 in the two-month period, from 409,487 in August to 371,756 in October. 

Once people without a job stop looking for a job, the government no longer counts them as unemployed.

Employers in education and health services posted big gains in October, adding 7,600 jobs. Professional and business services and government jobs were also up, 6,400 and 6,200, respectively.

The state's jobless rate was 9.4 percent a year ago and has been steadily declining.