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Unemployment rates inched up in The T&D Region in January, though rates still hovered at historically low levels.

Bamberg County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January, up from its December rate of 5.9 percent.

The county’s rate was the highest among the state's 46 counties, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce numbers released Monday.

Orangeburg County's rate was 5.8 percent in January, compared to 5.4 percent in December. The county's unemployment rate was tied for the fourth-highest in the state with Marion County.

Calhoun County had the state’s 15th-highest unemployment rate in January at 4.5 percent. The county's rate was at 4.2 percent in December.

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

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady in January at 3.2 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased to 4 percent from December’s estimate of 3.9 percent.

Lexington had the state's lowest unemployment rate for January at 2.9 percent.

Other area counties’ unemployment rates in January were:

• Allendale -- 6.1 percent

• Barnwell -- 4.8 percent

• Dorchester -- 3.2 percent

Although unemployment rates went up in every South Carolina county in January, the state’s jobless rate remained steady because of a difference in the way the statistics are handled. The state’s unemployment rate is adjusted for seasonal differences in employment while the county numbers are not.

January unemployment numbers are the latest publicly released. February numbers will be released at a future date.

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Staff Writer

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

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