SC's unemployment rate drops to 9.5%

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% last month, the lowest rate in three years.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Tuesday the rate dropped 0.4%age points from November.

It's the fourth month the rate has declined.

December's rate is the lowest since December 2008, when it stood at 9.2%.

The national unemployment rate in December was 8.5%.

Marion County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.9%. Lexington County had the lowest rate at 7%.

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