North Carolina’s January jobless rate rises to 5.3 percent

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose a fraction to 5.3 percent in January, the sixth straight month the measure of joblessness has been above the national average.

The state Commerce Department said Monday that January’s unemployment rate matched the mark from a year earlier. North Carolina companies employed almost 80,000 additional workers since January 2016. The state’s rising population also means there are nearly 2,000 more unemployed.

Data show white-collar, service and government jobs increased over the past year, while manufacturers cut more than 3,000 positions.

North Carolina’s January unemployment rate was slightly higher than the 5.2 percent in December. The national average unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in January also increased one-tenth of a percentage point.