By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment has fallen to the state's lowest rate in five years.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate last month was 7.5 percent in October. Officials said that was the lowest mark for South Carolina since September 2008, when unemployment was 7.3 percent.
The agency also said that last month's 7.5 percent figure was the closest that South Carolina's jobless rate had been to the national rate since September 2002. In October, national unemployment was estimated at 7.3 percent, up slightly from September's rate of 7.2 percent.
The state's largest gains came in the manufacturing, construction and education and health services sectors, with a combined growth of 6,200 jobs.