Agency: North Carolina unemployment rate neared 13% in May

Unemployment claim form (Photo: Neil Esoy / MGN)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A state agency says North Carolina’s unemployment rate neared 13% in May.

The actual rate of 12.9% announced Friday by the Division of Employment Security matches the revised rate for April.

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The identical figures still reflect the massive layoffs and furloughs that have occurred due to the COVID-19 economic shutdown.

The state rate was just slightly over 4% in March.

The division said May’s total employed workforce actually increased by 118,000 since April. But that total is 663,000 below where the employed workforce stood 12 months earlier.

The state has distributed more than $4 billion in unemployment benefits since mid-March.