For the first time since last summer, South Carolina’s unemployment rate increased over the previous month. The jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent in May, up from 8.8 percent in April. The state Department of Employment and Workforce blamed an increase in the workforce mixed with a decrease in the number of employed workers.
The number of unemployed South Carolinians increased in May by 5,861 to 195,905. At the same time, the number of employed workers decreased by 3,886 to 1,957,360.
The turnabout mirrored a national rate which increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The good news was in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector and the Professional and Business sector, both of which grew by 4,700 jobs last month. Leisure and Hospitality also increased by 3,700 jobs in May, the agency said.
The number of manufacturing jobs fell by 200. Other sectors, such as construction and government, stayed relatively flat.
Overall, nonfarm employment increased by 16,500 jobs in May, DEW reported.
The overall unemployment rate is still lower than it was in May 2011, when it was reported as 10.4 percent.