S.C. unemployment rate unchanged in January

South Carolina’s unemployment rate was unchanged in January, compared with December.

The Department of Employment and Workforce reported Monday that the jobless rate was 5.5 percent in January.

The agency said the number of people who were working increased by nearly 11,000.

York County’s jobless rate was 5.1 percent in January, up slightly from 4.8 percent in December. But a year ago, York County’s rate for January 2015 was 6.4 percent.

Chester County has the highest unemployment rate in the region, at 7.6 percent for January. That’s up from 7.2 percent in December, but down from the January 2015 rate of 9.5 percent

Lancaster County had a jobless rate of 6.0 percent in January. That’s up from 5.6 percent in December, but down from the county’s 7.3 rate in January 2015.

The national unemployment rate in January was 4.9 percent.

Statewide, government employment increased about more than 1,500 jobs. The construction segment added more than 1,100 jobs.

There was a drop in professional and business services of about 4,500 jobs in South Carolina. The trade, transportation and utility segment dropped by nearly 4,000 jobs. Leisure and hospital dropped by 3,500 positions.

Allendale County had the highest unemployment rate at 10 percent.

Charleston County had the lowest rate at 4.5 percent.

North Carolina's unemployment rate also saw little change over the course of 2015, stuck at 5.6 percent. North Carolina's unbending unemployment rate in January came despite the fact that the state added more than 23,000 jobs since December.