Unemployment in South Carolina has increased for 13 months in a row and the number of unemployed workers has more than doubled in that time. The South Carolina Employment Security Commission reports the April’s rate increased by one tenth of a point—to 11.5 percent and still higher than the nation’s rate of 8.9 percent.
Some good news: The number of nonfarm jobs rose for the second month in a row, gaining 9,700 in April and there were seasonal surges in business as well as in the leisure and hospitality industries. Those gains did not overcome the overall losses for this year, however.
According to ESC figures, manufacturing is still the hardest hit from a year ago. ANd Chester County has the highest rate of unemployment in the state–at 21.8 percent. Lexington County is faring the best, at 7.6 percent.
Roosevelt T. Halley, executive director of the ESC, says “The recent job gains are certainly a welcome sign that has helped slow the pace of the recessionary trend.”
He cautioned, however, that we are not “out of the woods” yet, and that we are likely to see higher jobless rates before the economy begins to improve.
As of March, South Carolina ranked third in the nation in unemployment, behind Michigan and Oregon. Read ESC Report