SC, NC unemployment up slightly in December - FOX Carolina 21

SC, NC unemployment up slightly in December

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

Both South Carolina and North Carolina's unemployment rates went up for the first time in months.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 8.4 percent in December.

Before December, South Carolina unemployment had dropped for four straight months. In November, state officials said the monthly mark of 8.3 percent was South Carolina's lowest unemployment rate since October 2008.

Employment and Workforce executive director Abraham Turner said the increase was attributed in part to a seasonal drop of nearly 6,000 jobs in South Carolina's leisure and hospitality industry. Government jobs also dropped by 2,300.

Unemployment went up in all but three of South Carolina's 46 counties in December. Nationally, unemployment last month was 7.8 percent.

North Carolina's unemployment rate increased slightly in December as the size of the labor force also increased.

The state Commerce Department said Friday the rate was 9.2 percent in December, compared with 9.1 percent in November. That's down from 10.4 percent in December 2011.

Overall, North Carolina's rate dropped in 2012. The state started the year with a 10.2 percent rate last January.

The labor force also grew by about 17,000 in December.

Meanwhile, weekly applications for unemployment benefits increased in North Carolina for the week ending Jan. 5, even as applications dropped sharply nationally to a five-year low.

Applications increased by nearly 14,000 because of layoffs in textiles, business services, construction, furniture and transportation equipment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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