COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate tied its record high in January at 12.6 percent.
The numbers released Wednesday by the Employment Security Commission represent a slight increase over December's rate, which the agency revised downward from 12.6 percent to 12.4 percent.
The number of the state's unemployed rose about 4,600 people to more than 273,000, a state record. Retail cut 7,700 positions in January as temporary workers were released after the holiday season.
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Unemployment went up in all of South Carolina's 46 counties. Allendale and Marion counties tied for the state's highest rate, at 24.3 percent. Unemployment was lowest in Lexington County, at 9.4.
Economists said last month the state's chronically high unemployment rate could top 13 percent before it starts to improve.
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