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S.C. unemployment rate drops for 8th consecutive month

Melinda Waldrop //September 17, 2021//

S.C. unemployment rate drops for 8th consecutive month

Melinda Waldrop //September 17, 2021//

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South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in August from 4.3% in July, the eighth consecutive month the rate has decreased.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce’s seasonally adjusted, monthly household survey estimated that more than 2.3 million state residents were working.  The 2,302,743 South Carolinians estimated to be working was an increase of 3,394 people over the July estimate and an increase of 30,279 from August 2020. Unemployment estimates decreased to 101,527 people, down 1,927 from July and 29,022 from August 2020.  

The national unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July.  

South Carolina’s estimated labor force, or people working plus unemployed people looking for work, increased to 2,404,270, up 1,467 from July and 1,707 from August 2020.  

S.C. industries reporting employment gains included government at 5,900 jobs and leisure and hospitality at 2,500. Education and health services lost 5,300 jobs.   

The state’s economy has added 68,500 seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs from August 2020 to August 2021, according to DEW.  

“Even with all of the jobs added to the workforce in the past several months, there are still more than 100,000 jobs posted in the SC Works online system,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a news release. “This is another testament to the strength of the economy. Even with the dramatic increase in jobs over the past months, employers are still ready to hire 100,000 additional people.” 

The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area added 500 jobs month-to-month and has gained 5,600 year-to-year. Charleston/North Charleston added 1,100 from July to August and 15,800 from August 2020 to August 2021, while Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin added 2,100 jobs month-to-month and 12,800 year-to-year. The Spartanburg MSA lost 100 jobs from July to August but added 5,800 year-to-year.  

Unemployment dropped or remained unchanged from July to August in every S.C. county but four: Allendale, Fairfield, Lee and Saluda. In Richland County, unemployment fell from 4.5% in July to 4.4% in August, down from 5.6% in August 2020. In Lexington County, unemployment, which stood at 3.8% in August 2020, remained unchanged at 3.3%.