The state's jobless rate dipped slightly in August to 10.8 percent.
The latest jobless data was released this morning by the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
The state's jobless rate remains well above the national average of 9.7 percent in August.
Most economists predict unemployment will continue to rise into next year, even as the economy shows signs of healing. The jobless rate is typically a lagging indicator: Many employers won't start hiring again until they're certain their business is improving.
And many Tar Heel workers still face tough times. Companies from Caterpillar to Nortel Networks plan to cut more jobs in coming months as they retool.
Just this week, ConAgra announced it would lay off more than 300 at its Slim Jim plant in Garner, and Hanesbrands reported it would close a yarn factory in Sanford and eliminate 150 jobs.
Still, there are some local companies looking to hire. Affiliated Computer Services is adding hundreds for a Raleigh call center, for example. And retailers such as Trader Joe's are hiring for new stores.