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      March unemployment released Tuesday

      South Carolina's jobless rate was 9.9% in March, compared with 10.2% in February. The national unemployment rate was 8.8% for March.

      Governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce Director John Finan held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to talk about the rate.

      Haley pointed out that this is the third straight month the rate has fallen since she took office.

      The unemployment rate dropped in each of South Carolina's 46 counties.

      Gov. Haley said, "This is an absolute reason to celebrate. We finally hit single digits in unemployment, and I will tell you that this didn't happen by accident. We have a group that is working hard every day trying to find what we can do to keep our companies healthy and what we need to be doing on workforce training. I am on the phone every single day with companies - and I will tell you companies want to come. And they want to come because we're a great state to work in and competitive by nature."

      Looking at the counties in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas, Horry County saw the most improvement down 1.8% to 11.1%. Marion County still has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 18.9%, down from 20.2% in February.

      Marlboro County has the second highest unemployment in the state at 16.7%. Dillon County is at 14%, Georgetown County at 10.9% and Darlington County at 10.7%.

      Florence County again has the lowest unemployment rate in our area at 10.4%.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.