The state Commerce Department said Friday the August unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, compared with 8.9 percent the month before. The July rate was the first month-to-month increase since January.
The national unemployment rate is now 7.3 percent, down from a peak of 10 percent during the recession.
North Carolina data show the number of employed people fell by almost 3,600 workers between July and August. The number of unemployed fell by a greater amount, or about 8,700 people.
The trend of falling unemployment rates across the country has come, in large part, due to the number of people who stopped looking for a job. The government does not count those people as unemployed.