RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's unemployment rate trickled lower for the fifth straight month in July to 4.1 percent.

The state Commerce Department reported Friday that North Carolina's jobless rate decreased by one-tenth of 1 percent from June's 4.2 percent rate. The national average also fell slightly to a 3.9 percent unemployment rate.

July saw the number of North Carolina residents employed increase by more than 13,000 workers to 4.8 million.

About 70,000 more North Carolinians had jobs in July than the same time last year. There were nearly 14,000 fewer people unemployed and looking for work than a year ago.