South Carolina’s jobless rate hit its highest mark on record last month, climbing to 12.3 percent as employers shed jobs and the size of the state’s labor force grew.

The state’s November rate was slightly above October’s jobless figure, which was first announced at 12.1 percent but later revised to 12 percent, according to figures released this morning.

November’s rate is the highest since the S.C. Employment Security Commission began tracking the data in 1976.

Modest hiring in the retail sector, government agencies and professional services wasn’t enough to offset losses in construction and tourism. Overall, the state lost 1,500 jobs throughout the month.

“Going forward, extensive job creation in the private sector will be a key factor in lowering the state’s unemployment rate for the long term,” said Sam Foster, the employment commission’s interim executive director.

For the Charleston region, the jobless rate rose to 10.1 percent last month from 9.9 percent in October. A year ago, it was 6.7 percent.

Return to later for more information.