Aiken County went from 7.7 percent unemployment in January to 6 percent in February. The last time it was that low was July 2008. Edgefield County went from 7.9 percent to 6.8 percent.
South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in February from January’s 6.4 percent. The drop was the largest in the nation in February.
The unemployment rate for metro Augusta for February, reported Thursday, was 6.7 percent.
Charleston had the lowest rate in South Carolina at 4.5 percent, while Florence had the highest at 6.2 percent.
The number of South Carolinians working continues to increase – rising for the seventh consecutive month in February – to a historic high of 2,039,455. The number of unemployed dropped by almost 14,000.
The department said the drop marked the ninth month that unemployment has fallen in South Carolina.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in February, something officials attributed to more people entering the job market to look for work.
Officials said it was the first time in 16 years that the South Carolina unemployment rate has been a full point below the national rate.
Unemployment rates dropped in 29 states in February and rose in 10, the Labor Department said Friday. Meanwhile, hiring rose in 33 states and fell in 17.
Employers added 175,000 jobs nationwide in February, close to the average monthly gains of the past two years. The gains followed two meager months of hiring. Employers added only 129,000 jobs in January and just 84,000 in December. Harsh winter weather likely dragged on job gains in those months.