CHARLOTTE, N.C. - More North and South Carolinians are back at work.
New numbers out Friday show both states' unemployment rates dropped in September, especially South Carolina's. Its dropped from 9.6 percent to 9.1 percent. Government did the most hiring of any industry there.
Alex Shoenthal isn't surprised South Carolina had such a good drop. He manages Grapevine, a wine shop in Fort Mill. He hired recently and may need more help. He's going through resumes now.
"We're almost constantly thinking about hiring,” he said.
North Carolina's rate dropped less, from 9.7 percent to 9.6 percent. It saw the biggest growth in professional and business services, but both states are still worse than the national average, 7.8 percent.
Cassie Thomas said she hits the unemployment office every day. She's been job-hunting for two years and tries to keep her spirits up.
"I pray, that's how I get amped up every day to go look for a job,” she said.
Raphael Sanders said he has all sorts of degrees and certifications in computer science, but no job, even though he feels like he applied for about 30 last month.
"It's just not happening,” he said.
The way economist John Connaughton sees it, both states still have a long way to go, especially North Carolina. He wouldn't be surprised if unemployment rates go back up before the year is out.
"This has been kind of the hidden secret that nobody in North Carolina is talking about, and that is how bad we have performed in this recovery relative to the nation,” he said.