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Submitted by Scott Pickey on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 1:19pm.

RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Unemployment rates decreased in 66 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in December, according to statistics released today by the state’s Employment Security Commission. The rate increased in 27 counties and remained the same in seven. “Rates were down in nearly two-thirds of the state’s counties over-the-month,” said ESC Chairman Lynn R. Holmes. “Continued focus on job growth and finding work for our customers remains our priority. Throughout North Carolina, our 89 offices serve thousands every day, whether it’s help in finding work or filing for benefits.” North Carolina had 40 counties that were at or below the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.7 percent. Rates decreased in all 14 of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The number of workers employed (not-seasonally adjusted) decreased in December by 15,685, to 4,010,124. The number of people unemployed decreased, by 14,248. The number of unemployed people in December was 430,539 workers, compared with 444,787 in November. Orange County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in December, at 5.8 percent. Meanwhile, Graham County had the highest unemployment rate, at 15.8 percent. Unemployment rates in the metropolitan statistical areas for December were: Asheville — 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in November. Burlington — 10.1 percent, down from 10.5 percent. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC — 10.7 percent, down from 11 percent. Durham-Chapel Hill — 6.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent. Fayetteville — 9 percent, down from 9.3 percent. Goldsboro — 8.2 percent, down from 8.5 percent. Greensboro-High Point — 10.2 percent, down from 10.6 percent. Greenville — 9.5 percent, down from 9.7 percent. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton — 12.4 percent, down from 12.8 percent. Jacksonville — 7.8 percent, down from 7.9 percent Raleigh-Cary — 7.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent. Rocky Mount — 12.6 percent, down from 12.9 percent. Wilmington — 9.9 percent, down from 10 percent. Winston-Salem — 9.2 percent, down from 9.4 percent.

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