Charlotte-area unemployment falls

Unemployment in the Charlotte metro area fell to 11.9 percent in March from 12.8 percent in February, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

The ESC says 102,809 residents were unemployed in March in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area.

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area recorded an unemployment rate of 14.5 percent last month, down from 15.8 percent in February. The ESC says 24,472 residents in that metro area were unemployed in February.

Mecklenburg County’s jobless rate fell to 11.1 percent from 11.8 percent in February.

Orange County had the state’s lowest county unemployment rate in March at 6.4 percent. Graham County had the highest at 17.2 percent.

The N.C. counties receiving the highest amount in unemployment benefits in March were Mecklenburg, $22.8 million; Wake, $18.1 million; Guilford, $11.4 million; Forsyth, $7.2 million; and Gaston, $5.8 million.

Here are March unemployment rates for counties in the region, followed by the February rates:

•Alexander: 13.6 percent, down from 14.4 percent.

•Anson: 15 percent, down from 17 percent.

•Cabarrus: 11.9 percent, down from 13.3 percent.

•Catawba: 14 percent, down from 15.3 percent.

•Cleveland: 14.3 percent, down from 15.5 percent.

•Gaston: 13.4 percent, down from 14.5 percent.

•Iredell: 12.8 percent, down from 13.8 percent.

•Lincoln: 13.5 percent, down from 14.7 percent.

•Mecklenburg: 11.1 percent, down from 11.8 percent.

•Rowan: 12.9 percent, down from 14 percent.

•Stanly: 12.9 percent, down from 13.8 percent.

•Union: 10.8 percent, down from 11.7 percent.

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