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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in November from a month earlier as the state gained nearly 35,000 new jobs.

The state Commerce Department released figures Friday showing that the rate dropped to 9.1 percent from 9.3 percent in October.

The figures show a significant improvement from the same time one year ago, when unemployment was 10.4 percent.

The state still trails the national rate, which was 7.7 percent in November.

The largest monthly increase came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which gained 7,300 jobs. , Professional and business services added 5,400 jobs, and education and health services had 4,900 more workers.

Since February 2010, when the state’s unemployment rate reached its highest mark of 11.4 percent, North Carolina has gained about 145,000 jobs.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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