South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in November from 7.5 percent the previous month, the state Department of Employment and Workforce reported. Richland County’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.9 percent, and — as usual — Lexington County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 5.2 percent. Statewide, the largest job gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (4,600 jobs), followed by government (2,700) and manufacturing (1,100).
The Columbia-based Edens firm landed a major capital investment of $1.5 billion, The State reported, $1 billion of it from investment firm Blackstone. Edens develops shopping centers — including Cross Hill Market locally — nationwide. The new investment will boost the company’s potential to grow and its national profile.
A conference committee of state lawmakers met Dec. 19 to discuss government restructuring proposals, Adam Beam reported. Among the ideas under discussion is abolishing the Budget and Control Board and replacing it with a Department of Administration. They came to no agreement and agreed to reconvene in January.
The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team continues to struggle, the latest manifestation being a humiliating loss to USC-Upstate. The women’s team, however, is 9-1 and ranked No. 10 nationally in the most recent AP poll.