This region's unemployment rate remains high, but it's still healthier than most of the state and much of the nation.
In July, joblessness in the Triangle fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent a month earlier. That's according to data released this morning by the N.C. Employment Security Commission and adjusted for seasonal effects by Wells Fargo Securities economists in Charlotte.
The state's rate stayed flat at 11 percent in July, and the national rate was 9.4 percent.
The jobless rate is a key measure of the broader economy, as people who are out of work don't shop as much and can run into trouble paying their mortgages and other bills.
While local job seekers still face tough odds as many companies remain reluctant to hire, the latest data is another sign of pending recovery.
"It's still a case of things getting less bad, not things getting better," said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo. "We're closer to the point where we're going to see some job growth. Businesses are seeing some signs of life in the economy."
In Charlotte, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 11.5 percent in July from 11.9 percent in June.