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State unemployment lowest since January '09

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's unemployment rate has dipped below double digits for the first time since January 2009.

The Employment Security Commission reported Friday that the unemployment rate for July fell to 9.8 percent, down from 10 percent a month earlier.

The jobless rate has declined for five straight months but remains higher than the national jobless rate for July of 9.5 percent.

North Carolina officials say the number of workers drawing a paycheck is up 34,000 since July 2009, when the state jobless rate was 11 percent.

The number of unemployed in North Carolina fell by 16,000 workers in July to 440,000. The number of unemployed has dropped by 56,000 people in the past year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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