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Kershaw County unemployment rate down
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According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the state has received some good news regarding unemployment. Kershaw County is one of the counties responsible for this good news as the county has also seen a decrease in the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate in South Carolina decreased to 8.6 percent in February from January’s rate of 8.7 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February. The number of employed persons increased to 1,991,575, the highest levels since August 2008. The number of unemployed persons fell to 187,673 in February. Since February 2012, employment has increased by 26,510.

The nonfarm job count, which is not seasonally adjusted, increased by 17,900 from January to February to 1.86 million. Large gains in February were reported in government, up 8,000; leisure and hospitality, up 4,100; education and health services, up to 3,800; and professional and business services, up 2,300. Smaller increases were seen in construction, financial services, information and manufacturing.

The increases in government, education and health services were driven by schools ramping up hiring for the spring term and by more demand for health care and social services, the agency said. Hotels and restaurants helped bump up leisure and hospitality, and increased use of employment services helped improve employment in professional business services.

The only losses were in trade, transportation and utilities, down 2,300, and other services down 400.

Kershaw County’s own unemployment rate improved by .5 meaning that the county’s unemployment rate went down. According to Kershaw County Economic Development Director, Peggy McLean, "It is great news that the Kershaw County unemployment rate went down in February."

McLean also said that this is encouraging for the county because "It means people are finding jobs and getting back in the workplace."

McLean says that the rate going down at this time could be because of a delay in announcements made by the Economic Development office in 2012.

"The strength of our existing companies, including the announcements we had last year, has shown up in these encouraging numbers," said McLean.

According to McLean, the county usually sees the unemployment rate remain constant or decrease slightly at the first of the year.

"The decrease is a good indicator of future economic growth. We expect this trend to continue," said McLean.

South Carolina’s unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted. The Palmetto State still trails the national unemployment rate of 7.7%.