Due to a record number of people in South Carolina’s workforce, the state’s adjusted unemployment rate rose from 5.7 percent in March to 5.8 percent in April.
The labor force rose by over 10,000 last month, according to new data released Friday from the state Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), increasing South Carolina’s overall workforce to more than 2.3 million people. However, the number of people finding work was more than 7,200, leading to an increase in the jobless rate.
SCDEW spokesman Robert Bouyea said students entering the workforce for the summer are a possible explanation for the increase.
“It means that we are seeing more people enter the workforce than we have, but this is a typical time of year in which we see that happening,” Bouyea said. “In the springtime, with schools getting out and students entering the workforce, we typically see numbers increase.”
Despite the small increase in the unemployment rate, Bouyea assures people are successfully finding jobs.
“What’s interesting is that of the 10,000 people who entered the workforce this last month, 7,000, or almost three quarters of them who entered, found a job,” Bouyea said. “It’s very encouraging that there are jobs out there. People are finding work as they enter the workforce.”
Over the past year employment in South Carolina has increased by more than 72,000 people and unemployment has decreased by more than 6,000.
Nationally, April’s unemployment rate remained constant at 5 percent.