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S.C. Unemployment Drops Below 9 Percent

March unemployment numbers in South Carolina show the rate has dipped below 9.0 percent for the first time in more than three years

The Palmetto State's unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in March, according to numbers released today.

This marks the first time South Carolina's unemployment rate has dipped below 9.0 percent in more than three years. The rate dropped from 9.1 percent in February, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce data.

“We are pleased with the unemployment rate’s continued decline. Our state hasn’t experienced an unemployment rate less than 9 percent since 2008, and we are excited that this means unemployed South Carolinians are finding jobs.” said SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham J. Turner in a statement released with the data on the unemployment rate.

“There is still much work to be done in our great state, but today’s drop indicates that businesses in South Carolina along with the Department of Employment and Workforce are keenly focused on putting South Carolinians to work.”

At a press conference held to announce the new jobs numbers at Stier Building Supply in Irmo on Friday S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley echoed Turner's comments.

"I hope everybody does today is celebrate the fact that while 8.9 is not low enough, we are not satisfied yet, it is something to be said that we haven't seen this in three and a half years, and we're moving in the right direction," Haley said. "We are now the one everyone is looking at for how to bring business. Not bring it from one state to the other, but how to bring it from overseas to South Carolina."

"And it's through a simple metrics that we will continue to do," she added. "Keep the cost of doing business low; keep the regulators at bay, make sure that we have a trained workforce, that's why you see us doing the new training with ACT and making sure that the workers are better trained for these jobs that we're bringing in; and continuing to be one of the lowest unionized states in the country."

March also marked the eighth consecutive month the state's unemployment rate has declined. However South Carolina's unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate of 8.2 percent.

According to SCDEW, compared with March 2011, the state has added 32,871 jobs while the number of people unemployed has dropped by 30, 950. The department reports that 17,100 non-farm jobs were created in March 2012, including more than 8,400 leisure and hospitality jobs; 3,800 trade, transportation and utilities jobs; more than 2,600 professional and business services jobs; more than 1,400 government jobs, largely from the local government sector; more than 600 manufacturing jobs; and more than 200 construction jobs.

The state economy also lost 900 education and health services jobs, mostly from the health care and social assistance industries, according to SCDEW.

The department also reports that the number of online job ads in the state increased by approximately 1,600 from February to March to 52,500. The number of job seekers per job opening also decreased from 3.9 job seekers per opening to 3.7 job seekers per opening over the same period.

stanley seigler April 23, 2012 at 05:49 AM
@John H: "...The way I see it..." the way i see it...as mentioned...the slow(er) recovery is the result the GOP's JOB#1 making BO a one "termer" vice jobs...and W tax cuts started the decline...well actually accelerated the decline (1:99 wealth distribution) started by RR...W/BO's stimulus started the recovery. appreciate yo opines...but only history will know for sure...and i will not be here to say...i told you...but for our country's sake hope we do not return to 1929/2008 voodoo trickle policies... best
John H April 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM
To Stanley; The frustrating thing about this recovery is that the GOP is just sitting back saying "We wouldnt do it that way", critisizing eveything done. Supply side , trickle down has shown to be volitile. Need a Kensian mechanism create steady growth. Appreciate you opinion also. Hope your around a long long time,
Tonto April 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
The economy went into FREE FALL because the communist took office is the reality. Any improvment now reflects business thinking he will kicked kicked out of the Country in November. Yes, DEPORT the illegal.
stanley seigler April 23, 2012 at 02:10 PM
@tonto: " ...Yes, DEPORT the illegal." and deport all DEMs to russia. all blacks to africa. all illegals to where ever...and pigs will fly...oh tonto what are we gonna do with you...well anyway, bless yo heart, child...
JoSCh April 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Tonto, that the people you represent widely believe the current president an illegal and a communist is all the proof needed to discount their entire worldview. I'm still not convinced that you aren't a troll. It's pretty easy to pose as a hard core modern Republican today, simply look at a fact and advocate for it's opposite using as much hyperbole as possible. Done, you could have a syndicated radio show.

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