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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -— The number of people unemployed in North Carolina decreased in December as the unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percent, from 10 to 9.9 percent.

Since December 2010, private sector jobs have increased by 29,400 (seasonally adjusted). Over-the-year, leisure & hospitality had the largest job gain with 11,800. Total nonfarm industry employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey decreased slightly by 4,400 but was up 19,600 over-the-year.

It is important to note that industry employment estimates are subject to large seasonal patterns. While seasonal adjustment factors are applied to the data, these factors may not be fully capturing the seasonal trend. Therefore, when interpreting the industry employment changes it is advisable to focus on the over-the-year changes in both the seasonally adjusted series and the not seasonally adjusted series.

The number of people unemployed decreased by 5,193 to 446,402 (seasonally adjusted). The number of people employed increased by 9,532, to 4,061,136. Since this time last year, the number of people unemployed has increased by 9,154. The state unemployment rate in December 2010 was 9.8 percent.

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