SC unemployment rate drops in February

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in South Carolina decreased to 8.6 percent in February from January's rate of 8.7 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February.

The number of employed persons in the state increased to 1,991,575, the highest level since August 2008, and unemployed persons fell to 187,673 in February.

Since February 2012, employment has increased by 26,510 jobs.

The non-farm job count (not seasonally adjusted) in the state increased by 17,900 jobs from January to February to total 1,857,600.

Increases in Government, Education and Health Services were driven by schools (public and private) ramping up hiring for the spring term and by more demand for health care and social services.

Hotels and restaurants helped bump up Leisure and Hospitality, and increased use of employment services (i.e. temporary agencies) helped improve employment in Professional Business Services.