State jobless rate stuck at 9.6%

Staff Report
Published Sept. 21, 2012

South Carolina’s jobless rate stayed at 9.6% in August, according to statistics released today by the state Department of Employment and Workforce.

The estimated number of unemployed people dropped by 2,021 to 204,941 in August, however, the number of people with jobs slipped by 10,347 to around 1.93 million, the agency reported. It was the fifth straight month that the rolls of employed had decreased.

Previous coverage

S.C. jobless rate swells for third month
Seasonal shifts cause S.C. jobless rate to hit 9.4% in June
S.C. jobless rate rises to 9.1% in May

Overall, the total labor force is down 12,368 to an estimated 2.13 million, the agency said. The rate of labor force participation in the state in August was 58.4%, the lowest since 1976, and reflective of more people choosing not to participate in the labor force than ever before, the agency added.

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased from 8.3% in July to 8.1% in August, the result of people dropping out of the labor force.

“While I recognize there is more work to be done, today’s unemployment rate announcement shows me that South Carolina is on the road to economic recovery,” said Abraham J. Turner, the state agency’s executive director.

A year ago, the jobless rate in South Carolina was 10.4%.

The agency reported nonfarm payroll jobs that were not seasonally adjusted rose by 2,400 between July and August.

Most of the new jobs were in government, which grew by 2,200, as schools ramped up hiring for the year.

Other increases included 1,400 jobs in the education and health services sector as private educational schools and health care services rebounded in August.

Also, 1,100 more jobs were recorded in the financial services sector; 800 more in construction; 800 in information services; and 300 in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

The number of jobs in professional and business services dropped by 2,000, while there were 1,600 fewer jobs in leisure and hospitality. Manufacturing declined by 400 jobs.

Both Charleston and Greenville metro areas reported a 7.9% jobless rate for August, while Columbia registered 8.4%, and Florence stood at 10.2%.

Marion County had the highest jobless rate at 17.3%, a slight improvement from 17.6% reported in July.

Lexington County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 7.2%, which was the same as July’s figure.

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