2013 was a much better year for Western North Carolina than was the previous year. The unemployment rate has dropped down to 7.4 percent in November from 8.9 percent when the year started. Every county in North Carolina had lower unemployment rates. Financially the state is slowly recovering from where it was. Every major group in the state from colleges to the DOT to the public and private schools all need more money to operate. Jobs are the key to adding revenue to the state and our Gov. McCrory is doing his best to make that happen. Nationally, North Carolina’s unemployment rate has dropped us down to number 35 from number 49 just 11 months ago.