- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s jobless rate inched up slightly last month, even as the state reached record employment.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said in a news release Tuesday that the unemployment rate in December was 4.1 percent. That’s up from 4 percent in November.

The 4.1 person matched the national unemployment rate.

The state reported the number of people working in South Carolina in December reached more than 2.2 million. The number of unemployed people increased to just over 96,000.

The state’s leisure and hospitality sector added more than 5,800 jobs in December. Construction added more than 2,200 jobs.

The trade, transportation and utility sector dropped by about 3,400 jobs last month. Professional and business services fell by 2,300 jobs.

Fairfield County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 9.5 percent. The county lost thousands of jobs when South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. and Santee-Cooper abandoned construction of two new nuclear reactors.

Charleston County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent.

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