- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s unemployment rate remained unchanged for the third month in a row, holding steady at 5.3 percent in June, state officials said Friday.

In a news release, the Department of Employment and Workforce said that the number of unemployed in South Carolina went up by 630 over the last month, to more than 115,500. There were more than 2 million employed people, a drop of nearly 850 since May.

Unemployment rates went up last month in all of South Carolina’s 46 counties except three. York and Aiken counties’ jobless figures went down, and unemployment in Horry County was unchanged from May.

When South Carolina’s unemployment initially fell to 5.3 percent in April, officials said that figure was the state’s lowest level in 13 years. The rate stayed steady in May, when federal officials said South Carolina’s 5.3 percent was 2.6 percent lower than a year earlier, a change that represented the largest year-to-year drop in the country.

Again last month, South Carolina’s year-to-year drop of 2.5 percent was the largest in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, unemployment was 6.1 percent in June, down from 6.3 percent in May.

In South Carolina, officials said jobs in the professional and business services, education and health services and leisure and hospitality sectors were up by a combined 5,900 jobs. Since June 2013, those three sectors have increased by about 26,700 jobs.


Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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