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NC unemployment rate rises to 9.8 percent

North Carolina gained 2,300 nonfarm jobs in December, but its unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in November, the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina said today.

According to the seasonally adjusted data, the gain in jobs is the first since August.

The number of people employed in December was 4.03 million, while 439,167 were unemployed, up from 434,782 in November.

Professional and business services added the most jobs from November to December, with a gain of 3,600.

The industry that lost the most jobs was construction, which fell by 3,900.

The December unemployment rate is below the 10.9 percent reported in December 2009.

The commission will release county unemployment figures Feb. 1.

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