S.C. unemployment rate hits a two-year low; things good in Charleston

Image by Flickr user Nathalie Babineau-Griffiths

The unemployment rate dropped below 10% for the first time in two years, and Charleston hit a surprisingly refreshing 7.7% March 2011.

[Note the graph at the bottom.]

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce reports in its monthly update that the "seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 9.9 percent in March, which is the lowest the state has achieved since its all time high of 11.8 percent in 2009."

Unsurprisingly, a lot of this can be attributed to the tourism-related industries gearing up for Spring Breaks and the pending summer season. Which means a lot of part-time and low hourly wage positions.

The two main areas of jobs improvement were in leisure and hospitality (10,000) and retail trade (3,900).


  • Charleston County tied for the second best unemployment rate at 7.7%
  • Dorchester County was at 7.9%
  • Berkeley County was at 8.7%
  • The metro area averaged at 8%

The amount South Carolina is doling out in unemployment checks is also falling dramatically; the average weekly payment for state unemployment benefits declined from a high of almost $21 million in 2009 to some $8.7 million in April 2011.

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