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S.C.’s jobless rate spikes to 10.9%

Aug 20, 2011 12:06:00 AM - thestate.com
South Carolina’s jobless rate jumped to 10.9 percent in July, up nearly half a percentage point over June and the highest it has been all year.

But if you’re jobless, particularly for the long-term jobless, the rate is 100 percent and holding — and people are frustrated.

“People around here, they’re struggling. People are stealing the manhole covers — it’s just that bad around here now,” said Purvis Richardson, 43, of Orangeburg, leaving the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce office here Friday afternoon with an updated resume in his hand.

h“You got people running to these scrapyards, trying to sell anything, man. That’s why you see people tearing up $20,000 air-conditioner units for $50 worth of copper. It’s that bad,” said Richardson, who said he has not worked since 2009, when he lost his job of 10 years at a food-processing plant after “some bad product got out the door” and the blame fell to him.

Orangeburg County’s unemployment rate soared to 17.7 percent last month, according to figures released Friday, catapulting the county from 10th place to 4th place in the state’s unemployment sweepstakes, an honor nobody is trying to win. Only Marlboro, Allendale and Marion counties had higher rates, topping out at 20 percent.

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