(Raleigh, NC) -- The monthly release of North Carolina unemployment data will show whether job prospects have improved every month this year, even though progress has been slow.
The state Commerce Department on Friday releases North Carolina's unemployment rate for April. The jobless rate was 9.7 percent in March, the third straight month it's dropped. The unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in December.
But the state's jobless rate was higher than the national average of 8.2 percent in March. The government reported that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in April.
While North Carolina's unemployment has stayed stubbornly high, some data points to an improving national economy.
Home construction is near a three-year high and the output from the nation's factories has risen in three of the year's first four months.