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S.C. jobless rate flat at 8.1% in August

Staff Report
Published Sept. 20, 2013

An increase of 600 people who found jobs from July to August pushed seasonally adjusted, non-farm employment in South Carolina to an annual high of 1,890,200, but that statistic was tempered by the fact that the one-month change was the smallest employment increase since June.

Statistically, unemployment was flat, according to Friday’s report from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. In August, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.1%. The unemployment rate has shown little movement since April, fluctuating between 8.0% and 8.1%.

The number of unemployed people totaled 175,602 in August, an increase of 1,165. The number of employed people fell 1,526 over the month to 1,986,209. There was a small decline in the labor force, dropping 361 to 2,161,811 people.

Across the state’s major metro areas, Lexington County had the lowest jobless rate in August at 6.5%, but that rate ticked up from 6.2% in July. In Richland County, the jobless rate rose to 8.1% in August from 7.9% in July.

In the Upstate, Spartanburg County jobless rate dropped to 8.2% from 8.3%. Anderson’s unemployment rate was 7.8%, up from7.6%. In Greenville County, the jobless rate rose to 6.8% in August from 6.6% in July.

In the Lowcountry, Berkeley County had the biggest jump in unemployment of the three major metro areas, with the jobless rate rising to 7.4% from 7.0%.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% from July’s estimate of 7.4%.

Changes in South Carolina employment included:

  • Professional and business services (+1,100); manufacturing (+900); and as educators began the new school year, government (+800).
  • Additional growth occurred in other services (+200) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+100).
  • Financial activities and leisure and hospitality both had declines (-700), along with education and health services (-600) and construction (-500).

Since August 2012, seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up 35,200.

Industries with notable growth over the year were leisure and hospitality (+10,500); trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,500); professional and business services (+5,400); construction (+4,200); financial activities (+3,300); and government (+2,500).

Smaller gains occurred in manufacturing (+1,300) and information (+200).

Modest drops were reported in education and health services (-400) and other services (-200).

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