State unemployment drops below 10 percent mark

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The unemployment rate in the Palmetto State continues its downward trend.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that was released Tuesday, South Carolina's jobless rate stands at 9.9 percent for March.

That's the first time that number has dropped below 10 percent since January 2009, according to the BLS . However, one year earlier in January 2008 the unemployment rate in South Carolina was at 5.5 percent before the economy took a turn for the worse.

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Gov. Nikki Haley and SC Department of Employment and Workforce Director John Finan met at Nuttall Tire in Columbia Tuesday to share the news. She picked Nuttall as the location to showcase small business.

While our overall labor force continued to shrink in March, we hope the positive news about jobs and declining unemployment will encourage more people to continue to seek reemployment and the services of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, Finan says. We currently have over 50,000 available jobs in the state posted.

Click here to see the entire report from SCDEW.

Nationally, the jobless rate was 8.8 percent in March.

Some economists claim the state's economy is improving, but at a much slower pace than during previous recovery periods.

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