- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A new look at North Carolina’s employment picture should indicate whether more people are encouraged to re-enter the state’s workforce.

The North Carolina Commerce Department will release figures showing the unemployment rate for July on Friday. The jobless rate in June was 5.8 percent, a slight increase from the previous month. June marked four straight months the state’s unemployment rate has inched up.

Economists say that’s because a growing economy is creating jobs and drawing more workers into the workforce.

July’s unemployment rate for the entire country was 5.3 percent and has been trending lower that North Carolina’s.

The national jobless rate has dropped by nearly half from a peak of 10 percent nearly six years ago during the depths of the country’s Great Recession

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