SC unemployment up slightly in December

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate has gone up for the first time in months.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 8.4 percent in December.

Before December, South Carolina unemployment had dropped for four straight months. In November, state officials said the monthly mark of 8.3 percent was South Carolina's lowest unemployment rate since October 2008.

Employment and Workforce executive director Abraham Turner said the increase was attributed in part to a seasonal drop of nearly 6,000 jobs in South Carolina's leisure and hospitality industry. Government jobs also dropped by 2,300.

Unemployment went up in all but three of South Carolina's 46 counties in December. Nationally, unemployment last month was 7.8 percent.

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