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      State's August unemployment rate to be released

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina officials hope the new report on unemployment in South Carolina will be better.

      The Department of Employment and Workforce was scheduled to release the jobless rate for August on Friday.

      The July rate reached nearly 11 percent.

      Read more Haley: Students, retirees center of high unemployment in SC State jobless rate climbs again to 10.9 percent Unemployment benefits now accessible online in SC

      The July rate of 10.9 percent was an increase from the June rate of 10.5 percent.

      South Carolina's jobless numbers have consistently outpaced the national rate, which was 9.2 percent in June.

      Last month, state Democrats criticized Haley for the state's high unemployment rate.

      John Finan, executive director of the Department of Employment and Workforce, said at the time the current unemployment rate could be a sign of a strengthening economy, As people hear about job announcements in South Carolina, they are re-entering the labor force searching for employment opportunities."

      State officials blamed July's increase on the number of people moving to the state without jobs, people who had previously given up renewing their job search, and high school and college students entering the job market.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)