South Carolina jobless rate improves as federal benefits end

South Carolina News

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during the rollout of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp.’s new company, Nephron Nitrile, which CEO Lou Kennedy says will manufacture medical gloves as part of an effort to shore up the U.S. medical supply chain, Thursday, July 15, 2021, in West Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s jobless rate continued to improve last month. The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday the state’s rate had slipped another tenth of a percent, to 4.5%.

Nationally, unemployed increased slightly, to 5.9%.

Though not directly related, the employment uptick comes in conjunction with South Carolina’s decision to opt out of federal unemployment programs that had been providing extra money to jobless residents.

Gov. Henry McMaster claimed in May that the supplement had caused “unprecedented” workforce shortages in the state.

But the Republican has also introduced other mechanisms to shore up the workforce, including an $8 million cash infusion for the state’s technical colleges for tuition-free job skills training as the jobless reenter the workforce.

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