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South Carolina employment hits record in January

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South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.4% in January, while the number of people working in the state hit a record, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported today.

The jobless rate was 4.3% in December. Meanwhile, the number of employed in South Carolina rose to a record 2,209,235, an increase of 9,373 workers.

In January, the labor force rose by 12,614 to a total of 2,310,701. The number of unemployed increased by 3,241 raising the total number of jobless South Carolinians to 101,466.

Over the past year, employment gains totaled 42,022 and unemployment decreased by 23,683. Since January 2016, the labor force has grown by 18,339, DEW reported.

“It is encouraging to see nearly 10,000 people find work in January, setting a new employment record in the state,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of DEW. “The economy in South Carolina is strong, and more and more people are feeling optimistic and are entering the job market to take advantage of the opportunities presented by employers that have decided to grow their businesses here.”

Richland County’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7% from 4% in December. Lexington County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9% from 3.3% in December.

Among the state’s metro areas Florence recorded the highest unemployment rate at 5.4%, up from 4.6% in December. Columbia posted an unemployment rate of 4.5%, up from 3.8% in December while Greenville posted an unemployment rate of 4.4%, up from 3.6%. Charleston had an unemployment rate of 4.1%, up from 3.5% in December.

Nationally, January’s unemployment rate was 4.8%, up from 4.7% in December.

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