By the numbers

South Carolina jobless rate*

Sept. 2013 7.9%

Aug. 2013 8.1%

Sept. 2012 9.1%

*September’s unemployment data for counties and metropolitan areas will be released Friday.

Source: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

South Carolina’s unemployment rate hit a five-year low in September, officials reported Friday.

The jobless rate for the Palmetto State dropped to 7.9 percent in September from August’s 8.1 percent rate, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

“This is great news for South Carolinians because the last time the statewide rate was below 8.0 percent was in September 2008,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Cheryl M. Stanton. “As South Carolina’s economy continues to recover, DEW is committed to continuing to match job seekers with available jobs and get all South Carolinians good jobs.”

The federal government reported the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low of 7.2 percent in September.

Friday’s report also showed the first movement in the state’s unemployment rate in the last few months. August’s jobless report showed no change from the state’s 8.1 percent in July.

South Carolina work force officials said the state’s jobless report for September was delayed from its Oct. 22 release date due to no access to some federal government data during the two-week shutdown, officials have said.

The state department of employment released the September data about 5 p.m. Friday, an hour and a half later than officials announced it would be reported.

A spokeswoman for the agency said the report was delayed because the agency was awaiting information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday’s report did not include September’s unemployment information for counties or metropolitan areas. That data, as well as preliminary data for October will be released at 9 a.m. Friday, officials said.

Gov. Nikki Haley lauded September’s .2 percent drop in unemployment.

“With over 39,000 jobs created and over $9.6 billion in new investment it’s clear that our economic development efforts are building momentum,” Haley said in a statement. “South Carolina’s unemployment rate is now at a five-year low, but we want it even lower and will continue doing everything possible to make that happen.”

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.