State, county unemployment rate dips

South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent in February from 8.7 in January, with the rate declining in all but one county, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February.

The number of employed people in South Carolina increased to more than 1.9 million, the most since August 2008, and the number of unemployed fell to 187,000 in February.

Large gains in February were reported in the government, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional business sectors, according to a news release.

Calhoun County was the only county to experience an increase, rising from 10.1 to 10.2 percent.