The Department of Employment and Workforce reports that South Carolina’s unemployment rate fell slightly in September to 11 percent. The 0.1 percentage point decline from August ends four months of increases in the jobless rate. Officials say nearly 10,000 people were hired for government jobs in September, most of them in education. That helped offset the traditional end of summer decline in leisure and hospitality employment.
For the fifth straight month, the state’s labor force increased and is now just under 2.2 million . September saw a rise in employment of 7,061, bringing the total number employed to just over 1.9 million. Nonfarm payroll employment declined for the third consecutive month, falling from August to September by 10,600. Manufacturing, which has seen gains in 10 of the last 12 months, declined 2,000 in September, but is up 9,500 from a year ago.
Marion County still had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 19.8 percent in September, while Lexington County had the lowest jobless rate at 8 percent.
The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent.