SC, NC unemployment down in March - FOX Carolina 21

SC, NC unemployment down in March

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

Unemployment in South Carolina and North Carolina fell in March for the second month in a row.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 8.4 percent last month. That's a 0.2 percentage point drop from February, when South Carolina unemployment was 8.6 percent.

The state gained nearly 10,000 leisure and hospitality jobs as South Carolina ramps up for its busy tourist season. That industry has grown by more than 11,000 jobs since this time last year.

Over the last month, South Carolina also marked gains in professional and business services and government sectors, which both grew by more than 2,000 jobs each.

National unemployment also fell last month, from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent.

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent in March from February's rate of 9.4 percent.

The state Commerce Department on Friday released data showing that although the number of people unemployed fell by nearly 12,000 between February and March, the number of people with jobs also dropped over the month by nearly 11,000.

The national unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent in March from February's 7.7 percent.

This year has seen the unemployment rate bob up and down in part because thousands of people are deciding to join the competition for jobs or give up.

In February, more than 11,000 workers were suddenly no longer working or looking for work, a big factor in the slight jobless rate drop.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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