- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s unemployment is better than the national average for the second month in a row, dropping in August to 4.6 percent.

The state Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the state’s jobless rate fell from 4.7 percent in July while the national rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says North Carolina had one of the biggest improvements in unemployment rate in the country over the year, with the jobless rate falling from 5.7 percent.

More than 96,000 additional people have become employed in the past year.

But one commonly watched measure of blue-collar paychecks has not shown much improvement. The average hourly earnings of a manufacturing production worker in North Carolina increased by about one percent in the past year to $17.23.

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