South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained the same in July at 3.9 percent, according to new data released by state workforce officials Friday.
June’s rate of 3.9 percent had been revised down from what the Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) originally announced as 4.0 percent. The rate is the lowest reported in South Carolina since November 2000.
However, an SCDEW spokesman said the numbers were gathered too early to account for more than 5,000 utility and construction employees who were laid off when utilities South Carolina Electric and Gas and Santee Cooper shut down construction of two nuclear reactors July 31.
However, it was a labor force shrinkage which largely fueled the drop. According to SCDEW, the number of South Carolinians listed as working in July decreased by more than 2,200. Meanwhile, about 140 fewer people were reported unemployed. However, the overall number of South Carolinians holding jobs is still nearly 41,000 higher than a year ago.
The strongest growth came in the Professional and Business Services and Government sectors, which accounted for roughly 5,000 net new jobs between them. The largest losses came in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector — which reported a net loss of 3,100 jobs.
Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased from 4.4 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July.
Bamberg County reported the state’s highest jobless rate at 7.6 percent. Charleston County was the lowest at 3.5 percent.