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MARTHA WAGGONER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — People leaving the labor force were a big reason that North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent in April, a month when only 1,400 more people got jobs.

The rate dropped from 9.7 percent in March and a percentage point from April a year ago, according to the figures from the state Division of Labor and Economic Analysis. The rate was stuck at 10.7 percent from July to September, then started a slow decline in October.

Experts say a large reason for the monthly decline was that more than 11,000 people left the labor force. More than 21,000 people have joined the North Carolina labor force since April 2011.

North Carolina’s unemployment continues to be higher than the national rate, which fell slightly to 8.1 percent in April.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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