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Unemployment Rates Fall In All 100 N.C. Counties

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Unemployment rates fell in all 100 North Carolina counties in March, as well as all metropolitan statistical and labor-marketareas, according to the state's

Employment Security Commission.

It was the first time that has occurred since the ESC began collecting the data in 1994. The rates are not seasonally adjusted.

"This unprecedented news is certainly welcome and shows that our economy and job climate are improving steadily," Gov. Easley said. "While the unemployment numbers will remain volatile due to federal trade policies, we are clearly trending in the right direction.

"We must continue making the necessary investments in education and infrastructure to keep North Carolina's business climate competitive and strong. There is still much work to do."

ESC Chairman Harry Payne Jr. said that 40 N.C. counties had unemployment rates below five percent, which doubled February's amount.

Also, said Payne, four metropolitan statistical areas -- Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville -- added a combined total of 13,300 jobs over the month.

"Together, this data indicates that more people are finding jobs," Payne said.

Vance County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 11.2 percent in March. Camden County had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.4 percent.

Dare County had the largest decrease in its unemployment rate in March, which fell from 12 percent to 7.9 percent -- a 4.1 percent drop.

That was followed by Tyrrell (which fell from 11.7 percent to 7.9 percent), Hyde (14 percent to 10.5 percent) and Swain (11.8 percent to 8.7 percent).

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