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NC Unemployment Still Edging Down

North Carolina's unemployment has dropped for the sixth straight month, to 9.7 percent. At 9.7 percent, the unemployment rate is nowhere near the 4.5 percent North Carolina was enjoying in 2007. But it's some consolation that we're now almost even with the national rate, which is 9.6 percent. For most of the last year, North Carolina unemployment has been running at least one percentage point higher than the nation - topping out at 11.2 percent. The latest good news is a bit misleading because most of the jobs North Carolina added in August were teachers and staff returning to school after summer break. Nearly all job sectors saw small gains for the month, with government and professional and businesses services leading the way. UNC Charlotte Economist John Connaughton said this week in his quarterly forecast that it could take up to five years to replace all the jobs North Carolina lost during the recession.