North Carolina's unemployment rate has increased slightly for the first time since January.
The state Commerce Department said Monday the jobless rate for July was 8.9 percent, or an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point compared with the month before. The national rate fell to 7.4 percent in July.
The state agency says North Carolina employers dropped nearly 14,000 jobs from June to July, with the largest decline in the government sector at more than 5,000. Transportation and utility fields and hospitality services saw the largest employment sector gains.
The state rate was 9.5 percent in January but had been slowly declining until now.
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