SC unemployment steady at 8 percent, falls to 8.8 percent in NC - FOX Carolina 21

SC unemployment steady at 8 percent, drops to 8.8 percent in NC

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

Unemployment in South Carolina remained unchanged at 8 percent last month despite higher jobless figures in nearly every county.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that jobless rates actually went up in all but one of South Carolina's 46 counties last month.

Non-farm jobs went up by 5,400 last month in South Carolina and are up 21,600 compared to this time a year ago.

National unemployment went up slightly to 7.6 percent last month. State officials said May was the closest South Carolina's rate had been to the national figure since March 2008.

In April, South Carolina's jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 8 percent. Officials attributed that decline in part to increased hiring in preparation for the state's multi-billion-dollar summer tourist season.

North Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent in May, marking the fourth straight month of improvement in the measure of economic health for workers.

The state Commerce Department said Friday that the May's jobless rate fell a fraction from April's revised rate of 8.9 percent. The national rate rose from 7.5 percent in April to 7.6 percent in May.

The number of people employed in North Carolina has increased by more than 37,000 in the past year, but there are still more than 416,000 people listed as unemployed.

Since May 2012 the state has added about 56,000 nonfarm jobs, with all but 1,500 of those positions added by private employers. The biggest increase among major industries was in leisure and hospitality services, which added about 25,000 jobs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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