The unemployment rate in South Carolina has fallen below 3% for the first time, dropping to 2.9% in September from 3.2% in August.
The number of S.C. residents working increased to a record 2,311,479, up 6,573 people from August, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. Since September 2018, that number has grown by more than 60,000.
Unemployment estimates decreased to 69,179 people, a drop of 8,130 since August and a decline of 5,900 since September 2018. South Carolina’s estimated labor force — those working plus unemployed people looking for work — decreased by 1,557 from August to September, halting eight consecutive months of an upward trend.
The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in September from 3.7% in August.
In South Carolina, professional and business services jobs increased by 1,400, while manufacturing jobs saw a jump of 800. Leisure and hospitality jobs dropped by 1,700, while education and health services saw a decrease of 800.
Unemployment decreased in all 46 S.C. counties. In Richland County, unemployment fell to 1.8%, down from 2.9% in August and 3.2% in September 2018. In Lexington County, unemployment dropped to 1.5%, down from 2.4% in August and 2.7% in September 2018.
Four counties had unemployment rates of 1.5% in September. Charleston County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.4%.
Bamberg County had the highest unemployment rate in S.C. at 4.3%.