The wave of layoffs at North Carolina companies led to a statewide unemployment rate of 7 percent in October, the highest in almost six years.
The figures released Friday reflect a gloomy economic picture that soured in October as Wachovia's near-collapse and buyout dominated headlines along with drastic losses on Wall Street.
North Carolina's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average since February. The U.S. jobless rate was 6.5 percent in October.
North Carolina's jobless rate for September was originally reported at 7 percent, but was revised downward to 6.9 percent in Friday's report.
The last time the state's unemployment rate was this high was January 2002 in the aftermath of the dot-com bust and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)