South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in November from 4.7 percent in October, the lowest in 16 years, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported Dec. 16. Meanwhile, the agency reported a record 2.2 million South Carolinians earned paychecks last month.

November also marked the seventh consecutive month the jobless rate has declined.

“Our citizens are reaping the benefits as the state’s existing businesses grow and new jobs come to South Carolina,” DEW executive director Cheryl Stanton said in a statement. “In the last month alone, nearly 8,000 people found work, bringing South Carolina’s labor statistics to levels not seen since 2001. But it is not time to rest – we must continue to develop our workforce for the 59,000 jobs that are currently available across the state, and those other jobs coming soon.”

Employment increased by 7,528 in November to a record 2,200,101, while the number of unemployed declined by 6,275 to 102,075, the lowest level since June 2001, DEW said. The total number of South Carolinians in the workforce climbed by 1,253 to 2,302,176.

Nationally, the November jobless rate decreased to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent in October.

Among the state’s metro areas, the Charleston region recorded a 3.4 percent jobless rate in November, followed by Greenville at 3.6; Columbia, 3.8 percent; and Florence, 4.5 percent.

Charleston County notched the lowest jobless rate at 3.2 percent while Marion County’s unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.

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