North Carolina’s jobless rate dipped to 5.4 percent in April, the lowest in 8 years.
Other major economic indicators also improved in April, according to data issued Friday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The state’s April unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent in March and from 5.8 percent in April 2015.
North Carolina’s jobless rate is still above the national average of 5 percent, however, and has hovered above the U.S. jobless rate for the past year.
The state’s economic recovery has been strongest in urban areas such as the Triangle and Charlotte, while rural counties have struggled to make up for the jobs lost during the recession. The Triangle’s jobless rate was 4.9 percent in March; the region’s April rate will be issued June 1.
Data issued Friday shows that the state gained 1,000 nonfarm jobs in April and 95,600 over the past year. Last month’s growth was largely in professional and business services and information. Manufacturing and government jobs fell during the month.
At the same time, the labor force grew by 18,888 in April. Since the jobless rate also fell, that means the economy produced enough jobs to absorb job seekers.
The number of employed people in the state also increased, while the number of unemployed people decreased.