SC jobless rate rises while NC's holds steady - FOX Carolina 21

SC jobless rate rises while NC's holds steady

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

The downward trend for South Carolina's jobless rate has ended, at least for now, while North Carolina's rate held off a rise for a second-straight month.

The state's Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that South Carolina's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in May.

That's an increase of 0.3 percentage points over April's rate of 8.8 percent. It's the first time South Carolina's jobless figure has gone up in 10 months. The April rate had been the state's lowest in more than three years.

Only two of South Carolina's 46 counties had declines in their May jobless rates. Unemployment was highest in Marion County, at 17.1 percent.

The federal government reported earlier this month that the national unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent, up slightly from April's 8.1 percent.

North Carolina's unemployment rate was unchanged last month.

The state Division of Employment Security on Friday released the rate for May, which broke a four-month streak of declining unemployment rates. The rate remained at 9.4%, but the total number of unemployed North Carolinians dropped by almost 4,000 people.

The largest job creation was in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector, which added 2,000 jobs.

North Carolina's May unemployment rate is 1.1%age points lower than its May 2011 rate. The state fares worse than the national rate, which rose slightly to 8.2% in May.

The size of the work force in North Carolina continues to shrink. Nearly 10,000 workers left the labor force between April and May.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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