North Carolina’s unemployment rate drops slightly

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate for February has dropped to 5.1 percent.

The state Commerce Department said Friday that’s slightly lower than January’s revised rate of 5.3 percent. The state says it’s also slightly lower than the February 2016 rate.

However, it’s above the current national rate of 4.7 percent.

There are about 4.7 million people with jobs in North Carolina, which is an improvement from the prior month and the year-ago period.

Industries with large gains include leisure and hospitality services, which rose by 3,500 from the previous month. Education and health services, along with professional and business services each also added more than 1,000 jobs during that period.