South Carolina's jobless rate was unchanged in February as the number of unemployed in the state shrank for the time in more than two years.
The unemployment rate was 12.5 percent in South Carolina last month, same as the revised 12.5 reading from January, the S.C. Employment Security Commission reported Friday. The state rate was higher than 9.7 percent rate nationwide in January and February.
While the state rate remained at an all-time high, the number of unemployed dropped by 1,035 from a record 272,100 in January. This was the first month-over-month decline in the number of unemployed statewide since January 2008, according to federal labor data.
All major industries gained jobs over January except for construction and manufacturing, the employment commission reported. The state added 13,000 jobs between January and February.
Still, South Carolina has 24,100 fewer jobs than a year ago and nearly 148,000 fewer than December 2007 when the recession began.
Economists have said they expect the state's jobless rate to continue climbing this year as any economic recovery will be slow.