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By FITSNews || Despite over a billion dollars in so-called “stimulus” money, South Carolina’s unemployment rate surged to another record high of 12.6 percent in December – the fourth highest rate in the nation.

The worst could be yet to come, too, as analysts predict that the rate will pass the 13 percent mark within the next few months.

In addition to shedding another 6,300 jobs in December (pushing the total number of statewide, recession-era job losses to 109,900), South Carolina’s labor force shrank by 6,700 jobs.  That dragged the number of available workers down to its lowest level since September of 2008.

Making matters worse, the longer record unemployment persists the more money South Carolina will have to borrow from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. The state is currently $700 million in the hole to Uncle Sam – a figure that could climb as high as $1.5 billion by the end of 2010.


SC Unemployment Data (December 2009)