South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent last month, down 0.2 percentage point from February, according to new figures released today.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported that the number of those employed in the state last month was 1,992,113, and the unemployed totaled 182,978, the lowest level since October 2008.

The leisure and hospitality reported the biggest gain, with 9,800 more jobs, as the tourist season gears up. The largest part of the increase was from the accommodations and food service employers.

The Palmetto State’s decreasing unemployment rate follows the nationwide trend.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent last month, 0.1 percent lower than February.

South Carolina’s March jobless rate was 0.9 percentage point lower than the same month in 2012.

The Charleston region’s jobless number dropped to 6.4 percent last month from 6.8 in February.

Check postandcourier.com later for more updates.