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The March unemployment rate in the region that includes the greater Charlotte area fell to 10.4 percent from 10.9 percent the month before, according to the most recently released report from the N.C. Employment Security Commission. That’s down two percentage points from March 2010. However, our jobless rate remains above the state average, which is 9.7 percent.

Statewide, unemployment rates decreased in 99 North Carolina counties in March from the previous month. But for the most part, jobless rates did not decrease significantly, and 61 counties still have unemployment rates of 10 percent or higher.

In Mecklenburg County, the rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 10 percent in March. Union County has fared best in the region, with its rate falling to 8.8 percent from 9.3 percent the month before.

Employment in the Charlotte area climbed by about 7,800 jobs in March from the month before and by about 4,600 from March 2010, with the biggest gains in the trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality and professional and business services sectors. Although mining, logging and construction and manufacturing have eliminated many jobs, both sectors added workers in March.

The region’s labor force increased slightly in March but remains down by more than 20,000 workers over the 12-month period.

About 47,000 fewer workers were employed in the Charlotte region in March than in December 2007, when the recession began.

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