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North Carolina adds 17,000 jobs, unemployment dips to 10.2%

North Carolina gained 17,000 nonfarm jobs in January, and statewide unemployment dipped to 10.2 percent from 10.4 percent in December, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce .

The number of employed N.C. residents rose to more than 4.2 million. The number of unemployed individuals decreased by 7,968 to 476,276.

A year earlier, the statewide jobless rate was 10.5 percent.

“We are encouraged by total job growth since this time last year and the job gains in January,” says Dale Carroll, deputy secretary of the state Commerce Department. “There were job increases in a majority of the job sectors. We remain committed to assisting our customers statewide with our programs and services available at our employment services offices.”

In South Carolina, unemployment dropped to a seasonally adjusted 9.3 percent in January from a revised rate of 9.6 percent in December, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

However, the decrease in South Carolina’s jobless rate was primarily the result of an estimated 7,900 individuals leaving the work force, the agency says.

A year ago, the Palmetto State’s unemployment rate was 10.6 percent.

Among the S.C. counties in the Charlotte region, York’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.5 percent in January from 12.1 percent in December, Lancaster’s rate was unchanged at 12.7 percent, Chester’s rate rose to 15.1 percent from 14.8 percent and Chesterfield’s rate declined to 12.3 percent from 12.7 percent.

N.C. county unemployment figures for January are scheduled to be released on March 20. As previously reported, Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate was 9.9 percent in December.

The nationwide unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent in both January and February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

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