COLUMBIA South Carolina unemployment has dropped by half a percentage point for the second month in a row.
The state Department of Employment and Workforce said Tuesday that the October jobless rate fell to 8.6 percent. That's 1.5 percentage points lower than a year ago. It's the lowest rate in nearly four years.
In September, South Carolina's unemployment had fallen to 9.1 percent, mirroring a nationwide trend of falling jobless numbers.
In October, national unemployment moved up slightly to 7.9 percent as more people looked for work.
Counties in the region posted smaller gains. York County’s unemployment rate went from 9.8 percent in September to 9.4 percent in October, the second straight month it has been below 10 percent. Chester’s rate went from 12.9 percent to 12.7 percent. Chester is ranked seventh in the state for unemployment. Lancaster’s rate fell slightly, from 10.9 to 10.8 percent.
Government jobs in South Carolina increased by about 5,000 in October. There were other gains in trade, financial services and education.
The hospitality industry saw 400 jobs lost because of seasonal drops.