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At 7.5 percent, South Carolina unemployment lowest in 5 years

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COLUMBIA — South Car­o­­lina’s unemployment fell to 7.5 percent during the month of October, the state’s lowest rate in five years and one of the largest month-to-month drops in the country, state officials said Friday.

The rate was the lowest mark for South Carolina since September, 2008, when state unemployment was 7.3 percent, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce.

Over the next few years, the state’s jobless rate climbed due to the national financial crisis. South Carolina’s jobless rate peaked at 12.5 percent in January, 2010.

In September, South Carolina’s unemployment was 7.9 percent, the first time in five years the jobless rate dipped below 8 percent. On Friday, state officials hailed the drop as a boon for South Carolina’s economy. Gov. Nikki Haley said the state should be proud, but added that jobless numbers needed to continue to fall.

“The truth is we’re just getting started – and nowhere in the country will there be a bigger push to put people back to work and keep driving the unemployment number down than what will keep happening in South Carolina,” the Republican said.

Since October, 2012, there are nearly 27,000 fewer people among the unemployed. Nearly 18,000 of those people found jobs, the state agency said, while nearly 9,200 left the labor force.

Jobs in the professional and business services and hospitality sectors fell by a combined total of 1,800.


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