South Carolina unemployment unchanged at 5.3 percent during month of May


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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — South Carolina's unemployment rate held steady during the last month, state officials said Friday.

In its monthly release, the state's Department of Employment and Workforce said the state's jobless rate for May was 5.3 percent

That figure is 2.6 percent lower than one year ago and is the largest year-to-year drop in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, unemployment last month was 6.3 percent. When South Carolina's unemployment dropped to 5.3 percent in April, officials said that figure was the state's lowest level in 13 years.

Last month, South Carolina's labor force was more than 2.1 million, more than 1,200 higher than April. There are more than 2 million working South Carolinians, a figure that state officials said has been going up for 10 consecutive months.

Over the last month, jobs in trade, transportation, utilities and manufacturing increased by 5,000. Those combined sectors are up more than 16,000 jobs compared to the same time one year ago.

Unemployment went up in all but three of South Carolina's counties, and those jobless rates remained unchanged. Lexington County had the state's lowest unemployment, at 4.2 percent, while Marion County's rate of 9.6 percent was the state's highest.


Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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