By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate has gone up for the first time in months.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 8.4% in December.
Before December, South Carolina unemployment had dropped for four straight months. In November, state officials said the monthly mark of 8.3% was South Carolina's lowest unemployment rate since October 2008.
Employment and Workforce executive director Abraham Turner said the increase was attributed in part to a seasonal drop of nearly 6,000 jobs in South Carolina's leisure and hospitality industry. Government jobs also dropped by 2,300.
Unemployment went up in all but 3 of South Carolina's 46 counties in December. Nationally, unemployment last month was 7.8%.