COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment agency has made a $75 million early payment toward its debt to the federal government.
The state Department of Employment and Workforce announced Friday that its third payment this year could save the state $1.7 million in interest costs. The payment actually took effect last week. The agency paid $60 million in April and $126 million in September.
That leaves a balance of $195 million on the state's original debt of nearly $1 billion.
South Carolina is still on track to pay off the debt next year.
The debt accumulated between December 2008 and April 2011 as the agency borrowed money to send unemployment checks amid climbing jobless rates, which peaked at 11.9 percent in December 2009. The state's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in October.