By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - South Carolina's unemployment rate is continuing to go down.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 5.5 percent in March.
That's down from 5.7 percent in February. The drop means the state's unemployment rate has now fallen for 10 straight months.
State officials say that employment has reached a historic high. The Workforce Department said the number of employed people in South Carolina last month was just over 2 million.
"Dropping our unemployment rate a full five points since January 2011 says a lot about our state and the hardworking people who make it their home," Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement Friday. "With more South Carolinians working than ever before, it's clear we are consistently moving in the right direction and that is another great reason to celebrate."
In anticipation of the summer tourist season, leisure and hospitality jobs were up by 9,300 last month. Professional and business services jobs also increased by 4,400.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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