- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - There was no change in South Carolina’s unemployment rate last month, according to data released Wednesday by state officials.

The state’s jobless figure for April stayed at 6.7 percent, the Department of Employment and Workforce said. That’s the same as March’s rate, which was the first time the state’s unemployment inched upward in several months.

Nationally, unemployment dipped from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent.

Workforce officials say that overall employment in South Carolina set a record last month, at more than 2.1 million people. The state’s labor force also hit a record high at more than 2.2 million.

The number of unemployed people also went up last month, rising to more than 151,000.

“The positive economy in South Carolina is drawing more and more people into the workforce as evidenced by this month’s record breaking number of citizens who are employed,” Workforce executive director Cheryl M. Stanton said in a statement. “In the last month, nearly 10,000 South Carolinians entered the labor force showing that our state is optimistic about job opportunities.”

All job sectors in South Carolina grew over the last month except for manufacturing and information, which were down by a combined 400 positions. The biggest month-to-month job growth was in the professional and business services sector, which increased by 4,500 positions.

Compared to a year ago, all non-agricultural sectors are up by a total of 56,100 positions.

Unemployment was highest in Allendale County, at 11.6 percent. Lexington and Charleston counties had the state’s lowest jobless rates, at 5 percent.

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

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