The state’s unemployment rate saw its largest single month decline in more than three decades during August, according to new numbers released Friday.
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) released the latest numbers Friday. The report said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 6.4 percent in July to 6.0 percent in August. It was the largest one month decline reported in the state since 1983.
“It is exciting to think that more South Carolinians than ever before are working and providing for their families,” SCDEW director Cheryl Stanton said in a statement. “While we need to celebrate this, we also must continue to invest in developing a pipeline of trained workers to meet the needs of the state’s current and future employers.”
SCDEW reported that an additional 2,700 people were employed in August. Total employment was almost 2,115,000 — the highest ever recorded in South Carolina. However, the number of unemployed individuals declined at a faster rate as more than 7,900 people dropped off unemployment rolls, meaning the overall labor force shrank in August. The labor force has expanded by almost 52,000 workers since August 2014, but labor participation rates are also low in South Carolina.
The two sectors with the highest growth were Government at a net 2,800 jobs in August and Education and Health Services, with a net 1,900 jobs. The most significant losses came in Leisure and Hospitality as the summer tourism season started to wind down and a net 3,200 jobs were lost in the sector.
South Carolina’s unemployment rate was still higher than the national jobless rate of 5.1 percent.