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Originally published: 2014-02-07 17:21:39
Last modified: 2014-02-07 17:22:25

Watauga jobless rate at 5.6 percent

by Anna Oakes

The Watauga County unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point in December to 5.6 percent, numbers from the N.C. Department of Commerce indicated Wednesday.

The rate is down from 5.7 percent in November and 8.4 percent in December 2012.

In surrounding counties, the December jobless rate was 8.3 percent in Ashe, 7.5 percent in Avery, 7.5 percent in Caldwell and 7.4 percent in Wilkes.

The North Carolina unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in December -- down from 7.4 percent in November and 9.4 percent in December 2012.

While the number of those listed as unemployed in the state from December 2012 to December 2013 fell by 124,344, the number listed as employed only grew by 13,414 over the year -- meaning the labor force declined overall by 110,930, the department's figures show.