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Unemployment rates rose across The T&D Region in January. South Carolina’s rate also inched up.

Orangeburg County’s unemployment rate for January was 7.9 percent, which is up from 6.7 percent in December, according to figures released Monday by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Orangeburg County had the fifth-highest unemployment rate among the state’s 46 counties.

Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said the January increase is not uncommon.

Historically, the region has seen unemployment rates rise in January due to the loss of holiday season part-time and temporary jobs, Robinson said.

January also is typically a poor jobs month nationally, with construction schedules often delayed due to winter rains.

Bamberg County's unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in January, which was the state’s fourth-highest jobless rate during the month.

Bamberg County's rate was 7.1 percent in November.

Calhoun County had the state’s 20th-highest unemployment rate in January at 5.7 percent. It was 4.9 percent the month before.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 4.3 percent in January from December’s revised rate of 4.2 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged, remaining at 4.1 percent in January.

“Businesses continue to add jobs at a record pace. People are finding jobs and others are entering the labor force to take advantage of the state’s robust economy, all of which are cause for celebration," said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

"With more than 61,000 jobs available across the state, DEW is preparing our residents, including those with barriers to employment, to be able to succeed in those jobs,” Stanton continued.

In South Carolina, Fairfield County had the highest unemployment rate in January at 10.1 percent. South Carolina Electric and Gas and the state-owned utility Santee Cooper abandoned construction of two nuclear reactors in Fairfield County last year, causing the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Charleston County had the state’s lowest rate at 4 percent.

Other area counties’ unemployment rates in January were:

• Allendale: 8.3 percent

• Barnwell: 6.9 percent

• Dorchester: 4.4 percent

• Lexington: 4.2 percent


Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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