COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- South Carolina officials released the state's unemployment rate for October Friday morning.
The latest jobless figures from The Department of Employment and Workforce show the unemployment rate declined significantly to 7.5 percent from 7.9 percent in September.
September marked the first time in five years the jobless rate had dipped below 8 percent.
"This is great news for South Carolina because 7.5 percent is the closest our state has been to the national average since September 2002," said DEW Executive Director Cheryl M. Stanton. "And, while 7.5 percent is a number to celebrate today, there is much work still left to do for the Palmetto State. DEW will continue to work with businesses and job seekers and provide available resources so that every South Carolinian who wants a job, gets a job."
According to a release from DEW:
The number of unemployed persons was 162,613, falling approximately 7,457, while those employed increased 3,465 to a level of 1,994,349. The labor force fell 3,992 to 2,156,962 in October.
October 2012's rate was 1.3 percent higher.
"It is a great day in South Carolina," said Governor Nikki Haley. "Considering the unemployment rate crossed 11 percent just three years ago, everyone in the state should be proud of the fact that we're at 7.5 percent and rapidly gaining on the national average. But the truth is we're just getting started - and nowhere in the country will there be a bigger push to put people back to work and keep driving the unemployment number down than what will keep happening in South Carolina."
The national unemployment rate for September was 7.2 percent. It is now at 7.3 percent.
The federal government shutdown delayed the announcement of the September unemployment numbers until last week.