SC jobless rate jumps to highest mark in 3 years

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

August 15, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's unemployment rate has shot to its highest level in nearly three years.

The state Employment Security Commission said Friday that South Carolina's jobless rate in July rose to 7 percent -- nearly a full point from the month before.

That's the highest rate since October 2005, when state unemployment was 6.9 percent.

There were nearly 19,000 fewer people working in July. Officials blamed the increase on schools closed for the summer, along with layoffs in the manufacturing sector and more people looking for jobs.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose slightly in July, from 5.5 percent to 5.7 percent.

Allendale County posted the state's highest jobless rate, at 15.9 percent. Lexington County had the lowest rate, at 5.2 percent.

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