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Charlotte-area jobless rate rises to 5.3 percent in October

Companies were on hand at the CPCC Career Fair to recruit and hire job applicants on March 5, 2015.
Companies were on hand at the CPCC Career Fair to recruit and hire job applicants on March 5, 2015. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte-area unemployment rate rose slightly in October from the prior month as more people entered the labor force to look for work.

The jobless rate in the region rose to 5.3 percent in October from 5.2 percent in September, the N.C. Commerce Department said in a report Monday. The area’s unemployment rate one year ago was 5.5 percent.

The Charlotte metro added 13,400 non-farm jobs over the month, lead by the biggest gains in the government sector, which added 8,800, and trade, transportation and utilities, which grew by 3,500. Leisure and hospitality shrank by 1,400, and manufacturing by 1,000.

Over the year, the Charlotte region, which includes Concord and Gastonia, has added 35,700 jobs, the most of any metro area in the state. Comparatively, the Greensboro/High Point area added 10,400 and Durham/Chapel Hill added 9,600.

Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that the North Carolina unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in October. The unemployment rate nationally was 5 percent in November, the most recent month for which data are available, the U.S. Labor Department reported last week.

Across North Carolina, the unemployment rate increased in 83 of the 100 counties, the Commerce Department reported. In Mecklenburg County, the jobless rate increased to 5.2 percent in October from 5.1 percent. Here are the rates in some nearby counties:

▪ Cabarrus County’s rate rose to 5 percent from 4.8 percent.

▪ Gaston County’s rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.5 percent.

▪ Iredell County’s rate rose to 5.2 percent from 5.1 percent.

▪ Lincoln County’s rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent.

▪ Union County’s rate rose to 4.7 percent from 4.5 percent.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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