The drop-off is because of two things: South Carolina's jobless rate is improving and a new federal law that phases out the federally paid emergency benefits.
State unemployment officials told senators Wednesday their agency is offering job coaching services to the 6,500 residents affected by the jobless rate's improvement to 9.3 percent. The move made the state's unemployed ineligible for 16 weeks of federally paid extensions -- those without a job for between 62 and 78 weeks.
An additional 72,500 who have been without a job for between 20 and 62 weeks will come off the rolls. The federal government is paying for work preparation services for 55,000 of them.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)