South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest level in over four years, according to the latest jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce released data Friday that shows the rate dropped to 8.3 percent in November from 8.6 percent in October. That would be the lowest rate reported since 8 percent in October 2008.
The number of unemployed South Carolinians fell by 6,434 to just below 177,000 people. Meanwhile, the number of employed people jumped up more than 9,700 to 1.964 million. The labor force also grew slightly by 3,324. That bucks a national trend— although the national rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 7.7 percent in November, that was largely due to a decrease in the labor force.
“This is the fourth consecutive month the state’s unemployment rate decreased,” Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham Turner said in a statement, “This month is especially encouraging as the number of our fellow South Carolinians finding employment increased, and the number of unemployed fell to the lowest level of the year.”
SCDEW officials say an increased hiring in retail for the holiday season helped spur the growth. The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Sector grew by 5,500 jobs. An additional 3,500 were reported in Government, while Education and Health Services grew by 1,200 jobs and Manufacturing by 1,100.
Leisure and Hospitality saw the biggest contraction after it shed 2,200 jobs in November. Professional and Business Services also saw a loss of 1,400 jobs.
The unemployment rate has dropped by 1.5 percentage points in the past year. The highest reported rate was in Marion County at 15.8 percent. The lowest was Lexington County at 6.3 percent.