RALEIGH (AP) -- North Carolina's unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in January, matching the nationwide rate. Numbers released Tuesday by the Employment Security Commission showed an increase in January after seven straight months of the unemployment rate remaining stable at 4.7 percent. Officials said total employment went up by 5,372 in January to 4,325,582. Employment Security Commission Chairman Harry Payne Jr. says North Carolina is feeling the effects of the nation's economic situation. The U.S. unemployment rate was also at 4.9 percent in January, down from 5 percent in December. In January 2007, the state's unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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