MARION, S.C. – The unemployment rate was a record low 4.3 percent for Marion County in the month of August.

Marion County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Julie Norman said county said the loss of thousands of jobs more than two decades ago were devastating and a struggle to rebuild the local economy.

“We have dropped from an unemployment rate of over 21 percent to just 4.3 percent in just a decade,” Norman said. “That’s unheard of! In recent years we have improved our infrastructure, focused on workforce development and constructed new industrial buildings, certified sites, and promoted ourselves as an ideal location to do business.”

Norman said the effort is working.

“In the last six years we have added over 600 jobs to the Marion County economy and more are on the horizon,” she said. “Capital investment is at an all-time high, which means the county has the tax revenue to provide needed services to our citizens. We are still a Tier IV county, but I don’t know of another county in South Carolina that has seen a more significant turnaround."

The record low is ongoing trend for a county with an unemployment rate of 20.4 percent in 2009 to 5.5 percent in 2018. Norman said the good news now is having more job openings than unemployed people.

"In addition, we’ve had four announcements this year, and I expect a couple more before 2019 runs out,” Norman said. “That’s more than Marion County saw in the previous 10 years.”

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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