MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The unemployment rate is something Marion County has dealt with for decades; at times it was nearly double the states' average.
But now the county is seeing one of the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years, according to Julie Norman with the Marion County Economic Development Office.
"It's pretty exciting because for a long time till most recently, Marion County's was often twice the state average," Norman said. "This is big news for us, the lowest unemployment rate Marion County has seen in over 30 years."
Currently, the average unemployment rate in South Carolina is 4.2 percent, just seven-tenths of a percent lower than Marion County.
While there is still a lot of work to be done, young entrepreneurs like Dylan Forney are investing in the county they call home.
"I really just got into vaping and thought wow I can really do something with this," said Forney.
Dylan was born and raised in Mullins, just 15 minutes away from downtown Marion. He said he wanted to stay close to home and not just make a profit for himself, but the community.
"I think it's imperative to bring in new companies and new ideas like this just, so you can reach the newer generation," said Forney.
Marion County took one of its largest economic hits in 1990's after losing nearly 3,000 industrial jobs and was hit hard again in 2016, following the destruction of Hurricane Matthew.
Norman said business is picking up and larger companies are taking notice as well.
"Everyone is always looking for a job and there's not enough places to give them jobs, but Marion is doing a really good job of growing and a lot of new job and becoming over the next few years," said Forney.
Norman hopes to continue to build off one of their greatest assets: small town hospitality.
"Not everyone wants to live in a big city, and there are people out there both individuals and companies that appreciate what small towns have to offer, so we have to promote that," said Norman.
It's not uncommon to see the unemployment rate go down this time of year, with seasonal job opportunities.
The county will continue to look to bring in more business in the future.