(from press release)
South Carolina’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 12.5% in February from the revised January rate of 12.5%, the State Employment Security Commission reported Friday. January’s preliminary rate was revised to 12.5% from 12.6%.The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the state’s labor force at 2,175,356 in February, up 1,375 over the revised January level. The estimated number of unemployed decreased by1,035 to 271,140. The national jobless rate also held steady in February at 9.7%.
The non-farm job count increased by 13,000 in February with increases in every major industry division except Construction and Manufacturing. Retail trade added 1,400 positions in February. This was followed by increases in leisure and hospitality (+2,400), professional and business services (+2,400), education and health services (+3,000), and government (+2,500). Construction jobs were down 500 over the month, and manufacturing showed a small loss of 100 jobs. The overall job count for February was 24,100 below the year-ago level.
“We are encouraged by the job gains in most industry divisions as well as the slight downward movement in the number of unemployed in February. Going forward, we are hopeful this direction will continue; nevertheless, we feel this will be a slow and arduous process as the state attempts to recover from the recent recession,” said Samuel Foster, Interim Executive Director of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.