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      260 jobs, 240 to go

      The unemployment rate in Horry County fell last month to 9%, and it's part of Brad Lofton's job with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corportation to bring in employers to continue to keep that percentage falling. Horry County Council gave Lofton 18 months to bring 500 jobs to the area. When we last checked in with him in January, he had created 150 jobs. He now says 260 newly created jobs are coming to Horry County.

      "These are all high paying, good benefit jobs," he says.

      Lofton still has 240 to go, but says there are upwards of 500 jobs he hopes to announce soon.

      Beginning Thursday, Target will begin interviewing perspective employees to fill 200 positions at a new Surfside Beach location.

      "We've probably received almost 2,000 applications from the community. So the response to the new store has been unbelievable, so we've been working through those applications to set up interviews," says store Team Leader Danielle Flores.

      Lofton says his magic 500 number doesn't include the 200 Target hires, but that the new store is a good sign for the local economy.

      "If you can create enough primary jobs in manufacturing and those other areas, the retail jobs will follow as soon as everyone's purchasing power is up," he says.