South Carolina?s jobless rate reached a new high in January, matching economists? expectations that unemployment will get worse this year before getting better.
Unemployment was 12.6 per-cent in January, up from a revised 12.4 percent in December, the S.C. Employment Security Commission reported today. The national jobless rate was 9.7 percent in January and February.
The number of non-farm jobs in the state fell by 27,700 from December and 42,800 from a year earlier.
An increase in the number of people actively looking for work rose, up 4,600 from December, accounted for the rise in the unemployment rate.
Economists expect the recession ended in the fall of 2009, though effects of the worst down-turn since the Great Depression is expected to be felt for a year or more.
The state?s unemployment rate is expected to pass 13 percent this year ? in part because signs of economic improvement will draw out frustrated job seekers who stopped looking for work. Unemployment rates count only those actively looking for jobs.