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Unemployment rate in SC dips in August

Christina Lee Knauss //September 16, 2022//

Unemployment rate in SC dips in August

Christina Lee Knauss //September 16, 2022//

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South Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.1% in August from July’s estimate of 3.2%, according to statistics released today by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

During August, the state added 9,600 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the DEW report, with the biggest gains in professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; government; manufacturing; and leisure and hospitality.

The national unemployment rate for August increased to 3.7% from 3.5%.

The seasonally adjusted monthly survey estimated the number of South Carolinians working at 2,320,187, a decrease of 3,776 from July but a significant increase of 43,839 people over August 2021 estimates, the report said.

The number of unemployed people in the state decreased to 74,539, a decrease of 1,122 from July and 18,298 less than the number of unemployed a year ago, according to the report.

The state’s estimated labor force, made up of people working plus those looking for work, decreased to 2,394,726, a drop of 4,898 from the July estimate but an increase of 25,541 from July 2021.

Richland County’s unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.3%, and Lexington County also maintained the same rate at 2.6%.

The Columbia metropolitan statistical area added 1,700 jobs from July to August, while the Charleston/North Charleston area added 2,500 and Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin added 1,600 jobs, the DEW report said.

“While the numbers tend to fluctuate from month to month, South Carolina continues to enjoy record employment this year,” Dan Ellzey, executive director of DEW, said in a news release. “Some employers have had temporary layoffs due to parts and supply shortages, and there are business closures. What makes this time unique is the number of alternatives and opportunities for jobseekers.”

Some industries are seeing particularly significant increases in employment so far this year, according to the release.

“Accommodation and food services has grown by nearly 15,000 people, and both retail trade and the government sectors have grown by approximately 8,000 people,” Ellzey said.