COPY-State unemployment rate down to 11.6% - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

COPY-State unemployment rate down to 11.6%

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF/WIS) - South Carolina's new Department of Employment and Workforce says the state's unemployment rate has dropped for the third straight month to 11.6 percent.

The state added 13,000 non-farm jobs in April and posted mostly seasonal gains in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Manufacturing jobs also increased to 500.

The construction industry declined, losing 2,800 jobs and so did the educational and health services industry with a loss of 600 jobs.

April's numbers show a "significant drop," according to the department in comparison to March's unemployment rate of 12.2 percent. The national jobless rate increased to 9.9 percent as more people entered the workforce to look for jobs.

Friday's release is the first since Gov. Mark Sanford appointed a retired Air Force general as caretaker to run South Carolina's new Workforce Department. Last month, Sanford tapped retired Brig. Gen. John L. Finan to lead the new Cabinet agency until March 2011.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RANKED BY COUNTY

Rank County April
2010
March
2010
Change
1 Marlboro 19.5 21.5 -2.0
2 Marion 18.9 20.6 -1.7
3 Allendale 18.7 20.5 -1.8
4 Chester 18.3 19.9 -1.6
5 Union 17.7 19.1 -1.4
6 Barnwell 16.2 18.0 -1.8
  Lancaster 16.2 18.0 -1.8
8 Bamberg 15.8 16.1 -0.3
  York 15.8 16.3 -0.5
10 Chesterfield 15.5 17.4 -1.9
11 Dillon 14.9 16.0 -1.1
12 McCormick 14.8 17.0 -2.2
13 Cherokee 14.1 15.7 -1.6
14 Clarendon 13.8 15.4 -1.6
15 Orangeburg 13.7 15.3 -1.6
16 Williamsburg 13.5 15.4 -1.9
17 Hampton 13.1 14.8 -1.7
18 Lee 13.0 14.2 -1.2
19 Abbeville 12.6 14.6 -2.0
20 Colleton 12.2 13.6 -1.4
  Fairfield 12.2 12.9 -0.7
22 Sumter 11.6 12.9 -1.3
23 Darlington 11.4 13.0 -1.6
24 Georgetown 11.3 13.0 -1.7
25 Greenwood 11.2 12.8 -1.6
26 Oconee 11.1 13.0 -1.9
27 Horry 10.9 13.2 -2.3
28 Spartanburg 10.8 12.2 -1.4
29 Anderson 10.7 12.3 -1.6
30 Florence 10.5 11.8 -1.3
31 Newberry 10.3 11.5 -1.2
32 Laurens 10.2 11.4 -1.2
33 Calhoun 10.1 11.5 -1.4
34 Kershaw 9.5 10.6 -1.1
35 Edgefield 9.4 9.8 -0.4
  Pickens 9.4 10.2 -0.8
37 Berkeley 9.1 10.3 -1.2
38 Greenville 9.0 10.2 -1.2
39 Richland 8.6 9.8 -1.2
40 Dorchester 8.5 9.6 -1.1
41 Jasper 8.3 9.7 -1.4
42 Aiken 8.2 8.7 -0.5
  Charleston 8.2 9.4 -1.2
44 Saluda 8.1 10.1 -2.0
45 Lexington 7.4 8.4 -1.0
46 Beaufort 7.3 8.8 -1.5

Copyright 2010 Raycom Media. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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