SC, NC unemployment rates fall slightly in September - FOX Carolina 21

SC, NC unemployment rates fall slightly in September

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

South Carolina's unemployment rate has gone down by one half of a percentage point while North Carolina's rate decreased a fraction.

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

That's down from August, when state unemployment was 9.6 percent. Nationally, unemployment was 7.8 percent in September, the lowest level since January 2009.

Agency officials say that the number of unemployed people in South Carolina dropped by nearly 11,000 over the past month.

Earlier this month, the jobless benefits agency announced it was implementing layoffs of its own. Department officials said the cuts were necessary after the elimination of federal funding for emergency compensation and extended benefits programs.

The agency says the cuts will not affect anyone receiving benefits.

North Carolina's unemployment rate decreased a fraction in September to 9.6%, dipping back after a similar rise the previous month.

The state Commerce Department released the data Friday, the last look before Election Day into the state's unemployment rate's direction.

The number of people employed increased by nearly 30,000 in September to 4.2 million. About 62,000 more are drawing paychecks than this time last year when the state unemployment rate was 10.7%.

The number of people unemployed fell by 3,500 to less than 450,000.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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