The state’s unemployment rate took an historic drop in November. The latest figures released Tuesday show that the jobless rate dropped 0.6 percentage points from 10.5 percent in October to 9.9 percent in November.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) called it the largest monthly drop since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics made the monthly data available in 1976. The manufacturing sector added 900 jobs in November and showed what the agency called a “robust” gain of 10,800 jobs since last year. Non-farm payroll employment grew 15,000 from October to November and was up 30,700 from a year ago.
“We’re very happy to see the growth in employment,” SCDEW director Abraham Turner said, “Although some of it can be attributed to the holiday season that’s upon us, I’ll tell you that the bulk of it is tied to businesses who are just openly aggressive in trying to put more people to work.”
The agency said the labor force was reduced by 4,750 from October to November and the number of those employed grew by 9,777. The number of unemployed declined by 14,527. The labor force level was 2,164,970 in November and the figures show that some job seekers have suspended their job searches.
“It doesn’t mean the rollercoaster is over (and) the challenges are not there,” Governor Nikki Haley told reporters Tuesday, “What it means is that… we need to continue to do everything we can to put South Carolinians back to work. But it is certainly a good way to end the year.”
The number of employed workers increased by more than 30,000 over November 2010, which DEW officials say matches pre-recession growth levels.