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Charlotte-area jobless rate drops to 5.1 percent in March

This March 29, 2013 file photo shows a help wanted sign in front of a Cookout restaurant.
This March 29, 2013 file photo shows a help wanted sign in front of a Cookout restaurant. AP

The Charlotte metro area’s unemployment rate declined in March as employers added jobs and job seekers found work.

The region’s jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent in March from 5.3 percent in February, the N.C. Commerce Department reported Wednesday. In March 2015, the area’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

The Charlotte area, which includes Concord and Gastonia, saw employment rise by 13,300 from February to March. The biggest job-growth sectors were leisure and hospitality, which added 3,900 positions, and professional and business services, which added 3,200.

Over the year, the Charlotte-area’s net employment rose by 30,000.

Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that North Carolina’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent from February to March, a result of employers adding jobs and more people entering the labor force. The national unemployment rate in March was 5 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

In Mecklenburg County, the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in March from 5.3 percent in February.

Across the state, the unemployment rate fell in all of the 100 counties, the Commerce Department reported. Here are the rates in some area counties:

▪ Cabarrus County’s rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent

▪ Gaston County’s rate fell to 5.4 percent from 5.7 percent

▪ Iredell County’s rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent

▪ Lincoln County’s rate fell to 5 percent from 5.3 percent

▪ Union County’s rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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