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S.C. unemployment falls to 5.1% in September

Staff Report //October 20, 2020//

S.C. unemployment falls to 5.1% in September

Staff Report //October 20, 2020//

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South Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.1% in September from August’s revised rate of 6.4%, according to data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

DEW’s seasonally adjusted monthly survey estimated the number of South Carolinians working in September grew to 2,268,821, an increase of 2,571 from August but a decrease of 54,021 from September 2019.

Unemployment estimates dropped to 121,485 people, a decline of 33,324 since August and an increase of 64,035 from September 2019. The state’s labor force, or people working plus employed people looking for work, decreased to 2,390,306, a drop of 30,753 from August and an increase of 10,014 from September 2019.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.9% in September from 8.4% in August.

“September’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.1% is an impressive decline from last month’s revised estimate of 6.4%,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a news release. “However, what our agency is hearing from the business community is the urgent need for workers. While we know a lot of businesses suffered layoffs during the pandemic, industries have ramped back up and several are experiencing a boom.

“People who are looking for employment are finding work. And now is the time to secure one of these in-demand jobs because South Carolina needs people in the workforce.”

Ellzey said that 46 job seekers were hired on the spot at a job fair earlier this month in the Pee Dee region. 

In South Carolina, the government sector saw a gain of 8,100 jobs in September, while professional and business services gained 4,300 jobs. The leisure and hospitality industry saw a decrease of 2,900 jobs.

Unemployment dropped in every S.C. county in September. Richland County saw a decrease to 4.9% from 6.9% in August, while Lexington County saw a drop to 3.3% from 4.7%. In September 2019, unemployment stood at 3.1% in Richland County and at 1.6% in Lexington County.