The state Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) reported Friday that the estimated number of unemployed rose by almost 2,300 people in October over a month earlier. However, the data also showed that the labor force increased by 9,500 people in that span, which the agency said marked a historic high of nearly 2.2 million in the labor force. The number of estimated working South Carolinians increased by nearly 7,200 in that span.
“In October, South Carolina’s labor force hit an all-time high with an estimated 2.2 million people employed or actively looking for work,” SCDEW Executive Director Cheryl Stanton said in an emailed statement. “As the state’s economy continues to grow, South Carolinians are seeking new employment opportunities. DEW will work with job seekers to match them with the more than 65,000 available jobs.”
According to SCDEW, the manufacturing sector, along with Education and Health Services, saw large bumps (more than 2,000 net jobs each), while other sectors remained stagnant.
Marion County registered the highest unemployment rate at 11.3 percent, while Lexington and Saluda counties tied for the lowest rate at 5.1 percent.
Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.8 percent in October from 5.9 percent in September.
The rate is still slightly below what it was a year ago, when it was 7 percent in October 2013. SCDEW said the state’s labor force has increased by nearly 18,800 people since that time.