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South Carolina’s unemployment rate slid to a three-year low in March – dropping below 9 percent for the first time since December 2008.

The seasonally adjusted rate fell from 9.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent in March – driven in large part by hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector of the economy. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent – although a glimpse inside those numbers reveals some sobering realities.

For the second month in a row government added another big chunk of South Carolina’s new hires. In February, nearly half of the state’s newly created positions were government jobs (8,100), while another huge chunk (4,800) were affiliated with education and health care sectors that are dominated by government spending.

Still, for the eighth month in a row the trend lines are moving in the right direction for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – who is once again rushing to embrace the rate.

“Get excited,” people.