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North Carolina's unemployment rate hits new high

The Carolinas were hit with historic unemployment news today, as North Carolina's unemployment rate hit a new recorded high, and South Carolina's came in even higher.

The news comes a day after a poor U.S. job loss report that has economists pessimistic about the short term outlook for the economy. Other indicators, however, show a possible leveling out of job cuts.

Locally, North Carolina's unemployment rate rose to 10.7 percent in February, an increase from 9.7 in January, the N.C. Employment Security Commission said today. The state's highest previous jobless rate was 10.2 percent in February 1983. N.C.'s records go back only to 1976.

South Carolina's rate rose to 11 percent from 10.3 percent last month. The state had 241,000 people unemployed in February, the S.C. Employment Security Commission said.

The news comes amid a mix of encouraging and somber reports this week. Just this morning, the government said consumers increased spending for a second straight month in February even though their incomes slipped due to continuing layoffs.

Read the complete story at the Charlotte Observer's obssqueeze.blogspot.com

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