South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped slightly last month to fall below nine percent, the lowest level since November 2008.
The rate dropped from 9.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent in March, according to data from the state Department of Employment and Workforce. The number of employed South Carolinians increased by about 3,600 while the number of those listed as “unemployed” dropped by more than 4,300. The state’s workforce shrank slightly by about 800 people (it is still higher than March 2011). The numbers are not seasonally adjusted, according to the agency.
When compared to March of last year, over 30,000 more people are working now. However, the unemployment rate is still nowhere close to pre-recession levels.
Every county saw its jobless rate decrease.
The biggest gains came in the leisure and hospitality industry, with a net increase of 8,400 jobs. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector also had a strong month as its employee rolls grew in the retail sector by 3,800. Education and health services saw the biggest loss in jobs, with 900 fewer than February.
Nationally, the jobless rate dropped to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent.