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South Carolina's unemployment rate increases to 6.8 percent in May

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — South Carolina's unemployment rate increased slightly last month, even though more people were working, the Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday.

The jobless rate increased from 6.7 percent of the workforce in April to 6.8 percent in May.

The number of people working in the state last month reached a record estimate of nearly 2,110,000, up about 65,000 from the number of people working in May 2014.

The national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in May.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector had the biggest job loss last month, with 3,200 fewer jobs in May compared with April.

Both the manufacturing and the health and education sectors showed increases of 800 jobs in May, compared with April.

Allendale County had the largest jobless rate at 11.6 percent. Charleston County had the lowest rate at 5.4 percent. Unlike the statewide figures, the local figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors.

The state's labor force increased to about 2,260,000 in May. It was the 16th consecutive monthly increase in the number of workers available.

Only a handful of states had a higher unemployment rate than South Carolina last month, including Nevada at 7 percent, West Virginia at 7.2 percent and the District of Columbia at 7.3 percent.

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