SC unemployment declines to 9.9% in March

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate has dropped below 10% for the first time in more than two years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that South Carolina's jobless rate was 9.9 in March, compared with 10.2 in February. The national unemployment rate was 8.8% for March.

The last time South Carolina's rate was less than 10% was in December 2008, at 8.8%.

Overall, there were 24,300 more jobs in South Carolina in March compared with the year before.

State officials planned to release details about the unemployment rate at an afternoon news conference.

Economists have said South Carolina's economy is improving, but at a much slower pace than during previous recoveries.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.