South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent in November to 8.3 percent, the fourth consecutive monthly decline as employment increased ahead of the holidays.

The number of unemployed people fell over the month by 6,434 while the number of those with jobs rose 9,758, according to the state Department of Employment and Workforce.

The state’s jobless rate has fallen 1.5 percentage points since November 2011.

Nationally, the unemployment rate also fell from 7.9 percent in October to 7.7 percent in November, mainly due to a drop of 350,000 in the overall labor force.

During the past year, the number of jobs in the state grew 33,200 or about 1.8 percent, while the number of jobs in the U.S. grew by 1.4 percent.

Led by retail hiring, trade transportation and utilities added 5,500 workers last month, while government grew by 3,100 jobs, education and health services tacked on 1,200, manufacturing added 1,100, information 200 and financial services 100.

With the tourism season winding down, leisure and hospitality lost 2,200 jobs, professional and business services declined by 1,400 workers and construction shed 700 jobs in November.

The mining and logging industries were unchanged over the month.

The Charleston region’s jobless rate ticked up to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent in October. It was 7.8 percent in November 2011.

Charleston County’s unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent from 6.4 percent in October. Dorchester County’s rate increased 0.2 percent to 6.8 percent, while Berkeley County’s rate remained unchanged at 7.3 percent.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or