Laurens is a city in Laurens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 9,916 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Laurens County. Located in the western part of South Carolina, it is named after Henry Laurens, who was president of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. Original maps indicate the town may have originally been called Laurensville. The earliest known reference to the name Laurens is a town charter in 1873. Laurens and Laurens County is part of the Old 96 District, which also includes Abbeville County, Greenwood County, McCormick County, and Edgefield County. The textile, manufacturing, and glass industry was at one point a major source of employment; however, most have closed over the last 30 years, which has significantly hurt the city and its economic conditions. The unemployment rate, as of February, 2009, sat at 11.3%. Walmart operates a distribution center outside of the city near Interstate 385, which serves as a major employer. Although the economic, crime and unemployment issues have been significant hurdles, the area has seen several recent economic retail developments. Laurens was the town chosen for a makeover in the second season of Town Haul. Laurens is home to Gary Davis and Pink Anderson, acoustic blues musicians who were born in the city, as well as Redtop Davis, lightweight boxer of the 1940s and 1950s.