By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate has gone down by one half of a percentage point.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 9.1% in September.
That's down from August, when state unemployment was 9.6%. Nationally, unemployment was 7.8% in September, the lowest level since January 2009.
Agency officials say that the number of unemployed people in South Carolina dropped by nearly 11,000 over the past month.
Earlier this month, the jobless benefits agency announced it was implementing layoffs of its own. Department officials said the cuts were necessary after the elimination of federal funding for emergency compensation and extended benefits programs.
The agency says the cuts will not affect anyone receiving benefits.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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