South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped for the fourth month in a row to 9.8 percent. Contributing to the decline is the increase in hiring in the hospitality industry that traditionally occurs as summer approaches. Manufacturing and retail jobs also experienced gains, according to figures released Friday by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
In all, the state showed an increase of 11, 700 non-agricultural jobs for the past month. The state’s labor force has expanded to more than 2.15 million, as more than 14,000 South Carolinians have returned to work since the beginning of the year.
Another positive indication that the state economy is picking up is that initial claims for unemployment benefits have dropped to pre-recession levels of 3,700 from a high of 8,637.