December 20, 2014

SC jobless rate lowest in 13 years

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.3 percent in April, according to the state unemployment agency. That’s down from March’s rate of 5.5 percent and is the lowest percentage since June 2001.

While the number of South Carolinians listed as “employed” set another record high, the Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) said the state’s labor force stayed stagnant, growing by only 61 people from March. The number of people in South Carolina’s labor force has declined by nearly 23,000 over the past year, according to the agency.

There were over 114,000 unemployed persons in South Carolina in April, a decline of more than 4,600 people from the previous month. The number of South Carolinians working continues to trend upward, rising for nine consecutive months, and reaching a new record high of 2.05 million in April, and increase of nearly 36,000 from a year earlier.

The job sectors experiencing the largest increases were Manufacturing (gaining about 1,800 jobs), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (about 1,600), and government (gaining 1,300).

 Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in April, a decline of 0.4 percentage points