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Unemployment falls to 3.5% in January in SC

Human Resources
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Unemployment dropped to 3.5% in South Carolina in January, down from the revised rate of 3.6% in December 2021.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce’s seasonally adjusted, monthly survey of households estimated the number of South Carolinians working grew by 5,854 people to 2,292,415, while the estimate of unemployed people decreased by 2,470 to 82,267.

The number of people working in the state increased by 51,748 from January 2021.

The state’s estimated labor force, or people working plus unemployed people looking for work, increased to 2,374,682 in January from the revised December 2021 level of 2,371,298.

Nationally, the unemployment rate grew to 4% in January from 3.9% in December 2021.

Seasonally adjusted, nonagricultural jobs grew by 10,400 to 2,182,300 in January, led by gains of 4,700 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities industry and 2,600 in leisure and hospitality. Government jobs dropped by 900, while financial activities fell by 400 and construction remained flat.

From January 2021 to January 2022, South Carolina’s economy gained 57,800 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs, led by 16,700 added in leisure and hospitality, according to DEW.

The Columbia metropolitan statistical area added 700 jobs month-to-month and has added 5,600 year-to-year, according to DEW stats. Charleston/North Charleston saw 1,700 additional jobs month-to-month and has added 16,400 since January 2021. Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin added 2,200 and 9,200, respectively, while Spartanburg added 700 jobs month-to-month and 3,600 over the past year.

Unemployment rates rose in every S.C. county in January. Richland County saw an increase to 3.7% from 3.3% in December 2021, while Lexington County’s rate rose to 2.9% from 2.6%. In January 2021, unemployment stood at 5.6% in Richland County and 4.1% in Lexington County.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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