Charlotte-area jobless rate drops in October

The Charlotte-area unemployment rate declined slightly in October as local employers continued their hiring.

The jobless rate in the Charlotte metro area fell to 4.5 percent in October from 4.6 percent in September, according to a report this week from the N.C. Commerce Department. A year ago, the area’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.

Employment in the region grew by 16,200 over the month, marked by the biggest gain of 9,500 in the government sector. The industry that declined the most was manufacturing, which fell by 1,700, according to the report.

Economists tend to discourage reading too far into one month’s worth of data and instead point to year-ago numbers. Over the last year, employment in the Charlotte region has risen by 27,900, an annualized growth rate of 2.5 percent.

Unemployment rates rose in 44 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in October, fell in 22 and were unchanged in 34. Mecklenburg’s jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent in October from 4.6 percent in September.