South Carolina's unemployment rate in April fell to 9.8 percent from 9.9 percent the previous month, marking the fourth consecutive decline, a state agency said today.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said the industries that showed most growth were: leisure and hospitality, which added 6,600 jobs;, retail trade, 2,100 jobs; and manufacturing, 1,600 jobs.

The agency said employment estimates continued to increase for the eighth consecutive month.

In the Charleston region, the unemployment rate ticked up to 8 percent in April from 7.9 percent in March, driven by a slightly higher jobless figure for Berkeley County.

South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent in March for the first time in more than two years.

March's rate was 9.9 percent. It was the first time the rate had been below 10 percent since December 2008.

The national unemployment rate in April was 9 percent.

South Carolina's unemployment rate has decreased from a peak of 12.5 percent in January 2010.

See Saturday's editions of The Post and Courier for more details.