South Carolina's jobless rate rose for the first time this year as the number of people actively seeking work picked up slightly last month, state officials reported today.
The statewide unemployment rate inched up to 10.8 percent in July from 10.7 percent in June, the state Department of Employment and Workforce said.
The jobless rate had been falling since reaching an all-time high of 12.5 percent in January as the number of people leaving the workforce had outpaced any job gains.
South Carolina labor force total -- which counts both people working and actively looking for work -- fell for a fifth straight month, a sign that businesses are not hiring.
Gains in temporary, tourism-related and manufacturing jobs were offset by a huge loss in government work from schools releasing employees for the summer, state officials said.