Unemployment in North Carolina dropped in August, staying below 11% for the second month in a row.
The Employment Security Commission says 10.8% of the state's workers were off the job in August, compared to 10.9% the previous month. A year ago the unemployment rate stood at 6.6%.
Of the major industries, government had the largest over-the-month gain in jobs, while trade, transportation and utilities had the largest decrease in the number of jobs.
Economists from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on down have said the economy has probably already turned around, but unemployment is likely to worsen for months to come.
North Carolina job-seekers will get a measure of the data that means the most to them on Friday, when the Employment Security Commission announces the statewide unemployment rate for August.
Unemployment in North Carolina has been above the previous historic high for six straight months as of July and hovered around 11 percent since May. A prominent economic forecaster said this week the state's employment picture won't improve until next year.
UNC Charlotte economics professor John Connaughton predicts unemployment will reach 11.2 percent by year's end.