DURHAM -

North Carolina continued to recover slowly out of the Great Recession in 2013. Now business and industry leaders are gathering to discuss how the state's economy may perform in 2014 and beyond.

The North Carolina Bankers Association and North Carolina Chamber are hosting Monday the Annual Economic Forecast Forum at a Durham hotel. Gov. Pat McCrory and BB&T Corp. CEO Kelly King were among the highlighted scheduled speakers.

The state's unemployment rate has fallen over the past year by 2 percentage points to 7.4 percent in November - the latest rate available. The state's labor force has actually declined over the past year, however, while the number of employed has grown by about 6,100 workers.

The forum also will feature a discussion about the military's effect on the economy.