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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Another snapshot of North Carolina’s troubled jobs market is coming into focus.

The state Commerce Department on Friday will release data showing the state’s unemployment rate in February.

North Carolina’s jobless rate was the fourth-highest in the country in January at 10.2 percent. However, data released earlier this month also show employers added 17,000 more payroll jobs than they cut in January.

North Carolina lost more than 330,000 jobs by the time the national recession bottomed out in February 2010.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte economic forecaster John Connaughton says the state has gained back about a quarter of the jobs lost in the recession.

East Carolina University’s James Kleckley says the January jobless figures show the state’s economy is improving but was worse than previously thought.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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