Horry County's unemployment rate on the decline

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina's unemployment rate is continuing to go down, and Horry County is no exception – the county's rate dropped from 7.2 percent in February to 6.5 in March.

Horry County's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent this time last year, meaning a drop of 2.6 percent from the last year.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 5.5 percent in March.

That's down from 5.7 percent in February. The drop means the state's unemployment rate has now fallen for 10 straight months.

State officials say that employment has reached a historic high. The Workforce Department said the number of employed people in South Carolina last month was just over 2 million.

The metropolitan area of Myrtle Beach, Conway and North Myrtle Beach showed a 1.56 percent change year-to-year in seasonally-adjusted, non-farm employment. The workforce in March 2013 was 118,600, and one year later, it had grown to 120,500.

In anticipation of the summer tourist season, leisure and hospitality jobs were up by 9,300 last month. Professional and business services jobs also increased by 4,400.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March.

We talked to a local business leader for his take on the state of employment locally – tune in to WMBF News this evening for a full report.

To view complete March statistics from the Department of Employment and Workforce, click here: http://dew.sc.gov/documents/lmi-monthly-trends/March_2014.pdf

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.