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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate declined slightly in August, which means it’s now fallen for 11 months in a row.

The state Commerce Department said on Friday the seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from 4.4% in July to 4.3% last month.

The agency says the number of people employed grew in August by 17,600 and the overall labor force increased by almost 11,800.

Other data shows total nonfarm employment actually falling in August.

The state unemployment rate soared to 13.5% in spring 2020 amid COVID-19 lockdowns and commerce restrictions.

The pre-pandemic rate had been as low as 3.5%.