NC unemployment rate falls to 5.9% pandemic peak now higher

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell below 6% during January.

The state Commerce Department unveiled the rate and other data on Monday. January’s rate of 5.9% compares to 6.1% for December. Jobless figures remain well above those recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic contracted commerce and closed businesses last spring.

The state rate peaked during the pandemic at 13.5% last April and May. That’s higher than the previously announced top rate during the pandemic of 12.9% from last April. That’s because monthly rates in 2020 have undergone their usual annual revisions.

Employed workers in the state labor force increased by close to 10,000 in January.

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