- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s jobless rate has fallen below 5 percent for the first time in more than 15 years.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that South Carolina’s unemployment was 4.9 percent in September. That marked the first time the state rate has fallen below 5 percent since April 2001 and was the state’s fifth straight monthly drop.

National unemployment was 5 percent in September.

The agency says the number of South Carolinians working in September rose to an all-time high, at more than 2.1 million.

The professional and business services sector gained 3,300 jobs last month. Education and health services jobs were up by 2,500, as is typically the case with students going back to school. Government jobs fell by 2,800.

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