The state’s unemployment rate showed improvement, even with the normal drop-off of jobs after the holidays. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 9.3 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from December’s revised rate of 9.6 percent.
While 7,900 people left the labor force, and there was a seasonal drop-off, the number of employed persons over the month remained about the same at 1,951,314. That is why the rate actually dropped, with the number of unemployed persons at 200,190, the lowest level since November 2008.
The national unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January.
“We’re gaining on the national rate,” says Adrienne Fairwell of the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
The notable gains were in manufacturing, says Fairwell. “Manufacturing in South Carolina has really picked up in the last six to nine months in a state that has been hard hit in that area.”
She says the state’s job growth showed an increase of 29,900 jobs over the year. Leading the job growth annually were Manufacturing (+11,700); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+6,700); Leisure and Hospitality (+6,200); and Professional and Business Services (+5,600).