South Carolina jobless rates falls as lookers give up

South Carolina's unemployment rate fell for a fifth straight month -- but job numbers still don't suggest a sustained economic recovery in one of the states hit hardest during the economic downturn.

The unemployment rate slid to 10.7 percent last month from a revised 11.1 percent in May, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported today. South Carolina still has the seventh-highest state jobless rate in the country.

Still, South Carolina's June reading was the lowest since February 2009. The state jobless rate has fallen each month from an all-time high of 12.5 percent in January.

But for the first time this year, the state shed jobs, 3,000 jobs in June over May as government employment tumbled by 10,300 with the end of school.

The private sector added 7,300 jobs, lead by jobs tied to the tourism industry. Manufacturing and construction posted small gains, but they were offset by losses in health and education jobs and temporary work.

Most of the year the number of jobs have grown statewide, but the labor force -- which also takes into account people who are actively looking for work -- shrunk for the fourth straight month in June.

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