South Carolina's unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in October. It hadn't been that low since November 2008. In the interim, it stayed above 10 percent for 32 months, peaking at 12 percent in November and December of 2009.
Last year, legislators cut the maximum number of state-governed benefits from 26 weeks to 20. At the time, that reduced the total number from 99 to 78 weeks when including the federally paid extensions.