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WFAE takes a close-up look at how the economy is impacting people in the Charlotte region. "Faces of Charlotte's Economy" explores how the local economy is faring as the nation experiences what many experts are calling a recession.

State Unemployment Report Shows Modest Improvement

North Carolina Department of Commerce *Data is preliminary.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 9.1 percent in November, according to the latest data today from the state’s Commerce Department. That’s still more than a point above the national rate of 7.7 percent, but it’s still more “ho ho ho” than “bah humbug.”

While it decreased by 0.2 percent, North Carolina’s unemployment is still the fifth highest in the nation. But, there’s some trends that have Clemson University economist Bruce Yandle feeling the holiday spirit.

“It looks as though Santa Claus brought an early Christmas present to North Carolina,” says  Yandle.  “The gap between the nation’s unemployment rate and North Carolina’s unemployment rate is narrowing through time, and narrowing in the right direction. That is, the economic performance for North Carolina is beginning to feel more like the economic performance of the nation.

In addition, Yandle points out that, while more people are entering the workforce and looking for jobs, the jobless rate is still going down. Overall, the state’s unemployment has decreased by 1.3 percent over the last year. South Carolina also made the nice list, as its rate dropped a third of a point to 8.3 percent.