An increase in the number of South Carolinians listed as working — combined with a decrease in the number who are unemployed — caused South Carolina’s jobless rate to drop slightly in June, according to new data from the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
The unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in June from May’s 6.8 percent. The slight decrease was due to more people finding jobs at the same time the state’s labor force shrank. Roughly 2,100 more people were listed as employed than in May, while 4,400 fewer were considered to be unemployed. That meant South Carolina reported a record high number of jobholders at more than 2.11 million. However, the labor force also contracted by 1,300 jobs in that span.
The national rate was 5.3 percent in June, the lowest mark since the 2008 economic recession.
South Carolina’s rate is higher than one year ago, when it was at 6.3 percent in June 2014. However that increase is mostly attributed to growth in the number of people seeking work, as the state’s total workforce has increased by about 65,000 jobs since then.
The sectors experiencing the largest growth were hospitality and leisure services, as well as trade, transportation and utilities. Those sectors reporting a net loss were government, and education/health services.
Allendale County had the highest unemployment rate in June, at 11.5 percent. Charleston County had the lowest rate at 5.5 percent.