South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped in November to 5.5 percent, the lowest rate reported for the state in more than a decade.
The state Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) announced Friday the rate declined slightly from 5.6 percent the previous month, as more than 9,100 additional workers landed jobs. The increase led to a record workforce of more than 2.137 million overall. The number of people listed as working in South Carolina has increased by more than 225,000 since January 2005.
SCDEW said the unemployment rate was the lowest reported since August 2001.
“It truly is a great day in South Carolina when nearly 10,000 people are able to find work,” the agency’s executive director Cheryl Stanton said in a release. “But our work is far from over, we need to continue to develop a pipeline of trained workers to fill the state’s nearly 73,000 current job openings and to meet our employers’ future needs.”
The agency said more than 71,000 additional jobs have been created since November 2014, while the state’s overall labor force has grown at a slower rate. That has helped the unemployment rate decline from 6.6 percent at the same period last year.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 percent in November. South Carolina still had the nation’s 15th-highest rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The biggest increases reported last month occurred in Professional and Business Services, with more than 1,800 new jobs. Education and Health Services reported a net increase of 1,000 jobs since October, as did Construction. The largest decrease was a net loss of 400 jobs in the Information sector.
Marion County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.1 percent in November, according to SCDEW, while Charleston County had the lowest at 4.2 percent.