County/State unemployment rate continues to drop

  • Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In November, the state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate declined to 7.1 percent from the October rate of 7.5 percent. The rate drop, according to a December 20, press release is the closest South Carolina has been to the national rate since 2002. “Today’s announcement is just another testament of the focus the state has on putting people back to work and driving down South Carolina’s unemployment rate,” said Dept. of Employment & Workforce Executive Director Cheryl M. Stanton. “This is the first time since July 2008 that the state’s total employment reached over two million, and though we are happy to see the unemployment rate go down, we recognize that we still have a lot of work to do. In the year ahead, DEW will continue its efforts to facilitate matching available workers to available job openings and ensuring South Carolinians have the resources they need to increase their skills.”   The number of unemployed persons in South Carolina was 152,584, a decrease of approximately 10,230, and employed persons increased by 6,343 from October to November to a total of 2,000,756. The labor force was estimated at 2,153,340 people, reflecting a decline of 3,887.   Since November 2012, the unemployment rate has decreased by 1.5 percent, and the estimated number of unemployed people has declined by 34,674. Over the same period, 19,991 people found work, and 14,683 people left the labor force. With an increase of over 4,600 since last month, November’s seasonally-adjusted, non-farm payrolls reached a year-high level of 1,907,100. This was the sixth over-the-month increase since May 2013.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, SC Dept. of Employment & Workforce, Williamsburg County's unemployment rate is 9.6 percent, which is the lowest rate among the top ten counties with the highest unemployment rating. The rate reflects a steady drop over the course of a year. Unemployment in January 2013 was at its highest at 13.4 percent. By July, the rate had dropped to 11.4 percent and continued its steady decline each month. The highest unemployment rate is Marion with 13.1 percent and the lowest is Jasper with 6.0 percent.   In the first and second quarters of 2013, Williamsburg County experienced a total 18 new startup firms. By contrast, the U.S. Census Bureau projects a steady decline in population from 35,370 in 2010 to 35,100 in 2020 and 34,440 by 2030.   Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects occupations and industries related to healthcare will add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. In addition, total employment is projected to increase 108 percent, or 15.6 million during the decade. For more information, visit www.scworks.org or the South Carolina Dept. of Employment and Workforce at dew.sc.gov.

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