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RALEIGH, NC (AP) – North Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased a fraction in September to 9.6 percent, dipping back after a similar rise the previous month.

The state Commerce Department released the data Friday, the last look before Election Day into the state’s unemployment rate’s direction.

The number of people employed increased by nearly 30,000 in September to 4.2 million. About 62,000 more are drawing paychecks than this time last year when the state unemployment rate was 10.7 percent.

The number of people unemployed fell by 3,500 to less than 450,000.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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