Updated:COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)
(AP) South Carolina unemployment has fallen below the national jobless rate for the first time in more than a decade.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Tuesday that the state's unemployed rate for December was 6.6. percent. That marked the state's fourth straight monthly decline.
Nationwide, unemployment was estimated at 6.7 percent for December. State officials said that last month marked the first time since January 2001 that South Carolina's jobless number fell below the national rate.
Jobless rates fell last month in all but six of South Carolina's 46 counties. State officials attributed the declines to combined gains in trade, transportation, utilities and hospitality jobs of about 6,200 jobs.