• August unemployment rate in NC is 8.7 percent; SC rate unchanged


    RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina's jobless rate is continuing its downward trend after a one-month increase.

    The state Commerce Department said Friday the August unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, compared with 8.9 percent the month before. The July rate was the first month-to-month increase since January.

    The national unemployment rate is now 7.3 percent, down from a peak of 10 percent during the recession.

    North Carolina data show the number of employed people fell by almost 3,600 workers between July and August. The number of unemployed fell by a greater amount, or about 8,700 people.

    The trend of falling unemployment rates across the country has come, in large part, due to the number of people who stopped looking for a job. The government does not count those people as unemployed.

    South Carolina's unemployment rate isn't getting any worse, but it also isn't getting any better.

    The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the August unemployment rate remained unchanged from July at 8.1 percent. The unemployment rate has been either 8 percent or 8.1 percent each month since April. It was 9.1 percent a year ago.

    Officials say the number of people working in South Carolina fell by about 360 people to just under 2.2 million in August.

    The state saw an 800-job gain in government in August as people went back to school, and a 700-job decline in leisure and hospitality as the summer vacation season ended.

    Marion County had the state's highest rate at 15.1 percent, while Lexington County had the lowest rate at 6.5 percent.

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