About 800 more people in the Charleston region were seeking work in February than in January, pushing the local unemployment rate up.

The jobless figure for the metro area climbed to 8.5 percent from 8.3 percent, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said.

Because of a software change by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the release of county by county labor figures for February was delayed until today.

In Charleston County, the jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8 percent.

In Berkeley County, the number went to 9.2 percent from 8.9 percent.

In Dorchester County, unemployment increased to 8.5 percent from 8.2 percent.

The number of unemployed workers in the local area totaled 27,073.

Statewide jobless numbers for February were released two weeks ago. The unemployment rate for South Carolina slipped to 10.2 percent from 10.5 percent the previous month.

County numbers are calculated differently from state figures in that they do not take into account seasonal hiring fluctuations.

Lexington County continued to have the state's lowest unemployment rate at 7.6 percent. Marion County had the highest at 20.2 percent.

The unemployment report for March will be released April 19.