Stimulus rejected: S. Carolina's jobless rate growing fastest

The StateMarch 12, 2009 

South Carolina has the fastest growing unemployment rate in the country, and economists do not see an end to the cycle of job losses spreading across the state.

Between January 2008 and January 2009, the state's unemployment rate increased 4.7 percentage points, which was the largest jobless rate increase in the country, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. North Carolina also saw its unemployment rate grow at that rate.

During a previous recession that stretched through the late 1970s and early 1980s, the state's unemployment rate never grew more than 3.5 percentage points over a 12-month period, said Don Schunk, a research economist at Coastal Carolina University.

"The speed with which things have deteriorated is unprecedented," he said.

On Wednesday, the S.C. Employment Security Commission reported the state's unemployment rate at 10.4 percent in January. It's the state's highest unemployment rate since April 1983.

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