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      State unemployment rate down

      South Carolina's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 8.4 percent in March from February's rate of 8.6 percent.

      The number of employed persons was 1,992,113, and the unemployed totaled 182,978, which is the lowest level since October of 2008.

      From February to March, the state's labor force saw a minor decline to 2,175,091.

      Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in February to 7.6 percent in March.

      Leisure and Hospitality reported a large gain (+9,800) as the tourist season gears up. The largest part of the increase was felt in accommodations and food service.

      Improvements in March were also reported in Professional and Business Services (+2,600; mostly in the Employment Services subsector); Government (+2,200; generally in Local Government); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,900; mainly in Retail Trade); and Financial Activities (+1,600). Smaller increases were seen in Other Services (+700) and Manufacturing (+600).

      Three industries reported losses: Construction (-400; primarily in Specialty Trade Contractors), Information (-400), and Education and Health Services (-400; mostly in Healthcare and Social Assistance).