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      SC unemployment increases for first time in 4 months

      South Carolina unemployment increased slightly in May, breaking a four month downward trend.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- South Carolina unemployment increased slightly in May, breaking a four month downward trend. According to the Department of Employment and Workforce unemployment increased to 10 percent from 9.8 percent in April.

      Although there was a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, the number of people who found employment has increased steadily for eight of the last nine months, and since May 2010, the estimated percentage of unemployed persons has declined by approximately 10.4 percent, said SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director John Finan. South Carolina continues to maintain the status of having one of the fastest declining percentages in the Southeast.

      Officials say the increase is typical for this time of year, as new college and high school graduates enter the labor pool and more people look for seasonal, tourism-related work.

      Related Stories Computer glitch means 1,500 SC jobless miss checks Job gains help states narrow budget gaps State jobless rate at 9.8 percent; drops for fourth straight month

      The national unemployment rate also increased slightly in May to 9.1 percent from 9.0 percent.

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows South Carolina with one of the most improved jobless rates over the past year, with a drop of 1.5 percentage points since last April.

      South Carolina's unemployment rate has decreased steadily from a peak of 12.5 percent in January 2010.

      What do you think the increase in unemployment means for South Carolina's economy?

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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