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Charlotte-area unemployment rate remains steady, North Carolina’s rises slightly

The unemployment rate in the Charlotte metropolitan area remained steady at 4 percent from April to May, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The unemployment rate in the Charlotte metropolitan area remained steady at 4 percent from April to May, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Unemployment in the Charlotte metropolitan area remained steady in May as North Carolina’s rate rose slightly.

Charlotte’s unemployment rate remained at 4 percent from April to May, according to a report Wednesday from the N.C. Department of Commerce. The area’s jobless rate is down from 4.4 percent a year ago.

North Carolina’s unemployment rose slightly from 4.2 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May, the Commerce Department reported earlier this month. In May 2016, the state’s jobless rate stood at 4.7 percent.

Unemployment rates increased in two-thirds of North Carolina’s 100 counties in May. Over the last year, however, jobless rates have fallen in 97 counties.

The Charlotte metro area, which includes Concord and Gastonia, saw an overall increase of 13,000 jobs in May, with the largest growth in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 4,000 jobs, and professional and business services, which added 3,100.

Economists recommend focusing on yearly employment data instead of month-to-month changes. The number of jobs in the Charlotte area has increased by 35,700 over the last year, representing an annualized growth rate of 3.1 percent.

Taylor Blatchford: 704-358-5354, @blatchfordtr

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