The state’s unemployment rate in July jumped to 10.9 percent from 10.5 percent in June.
The state’s employment agency attributes the seasonally adjusted increase to “the number of people moving to the state, combined with a significant increase in new graduates flooding the job market in search of first-time careers.”
According to the Department of Employment and Workforce, the state’s labor force grew by approximately 4,100 from June to July, which is the largest increase this year. added to a higher number of competing job seekers the total number of unemployed was 236,420 in July.
On the other hand, according to DEW, some sectors saw job increases. Their monthly report states, “With retailers making an early push on back-to-school sales and with the tourist season in full swing, the largest gains were reported in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,700) and Leisure and Hospitality (+1,400). Education and Health Services also reported a healthy gain of 1,300.”
Manufacturing sector continues to produce more jobs, registering growth for the sixth consecutive month, because of gains in durable goods. The agency also sees an increase in average hourly wages from $16.36 in June to $16.63 as a sign of manufacturing’s gaining strength.
The workforce department cites an online job ad index that says nationally, there was a decline in the number of ads posted by employers in July. The number of online ads in South Carolina fell by 1,500 with neighboring states experiencing similar trends. When comparing the number of job seekers with the number of advertised job openings for July, South Carolina had five potential job seekers for every online job opening.
John Finan, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, says competition in the state is tough as there are currently more job seekers than job openings. He says he is confident as the number of new job announcements come to fruition; the unemployment rate will again begin to trend down.
There have been steady job regional job announcements in the past few months, but it takes a few months — or longer — to staff these positions.