RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's unemployment rate is being announced for the first time since Gov. Pat McCrory started taking credit for an economic comeback he says resulted from Republican tax cuts and fewer business regulations.

Officials will announce the December jobless rate for the state on Tuesday.

McCrory began saying this month that North Carolina was mounting a comeback reflected by a 2 percentage point drop in the state's unemployment rate since he took office last January.

But economists warn that drop could be because so many people have become discouraged, are giving up on finding a job and are no longer being counted. The state's population of working-age adults who are looking for jobs shrank by 95,000 in the past year.