South Carolina’s employment agency reported the state’s unemployment rate dropped last month, as a net 3,100 people left the labor force.
The Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) announced Friday that the decline in unemployed South Carolinians — combined with a slight growth in people listed as working — helped drop the jobless rate to 3.6 percent in July.
SCDEW said a net additional 1,651 people were listed as working. That increased the record workforce to more than 2.22 million.
“As businesses thrive in South Carolina they continue to hire at record levels, but they need a trained and ready workforce to support growth,” executive director Cheryl Stanton said in a statement.
The 3.6 percent rate was the recorded for South Carolina since May 1998, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics used different metrics.
Construction (1,500 net job increase) and manufacturing (1,100 net jobs) helped drive the growth last month. A 1,000-job decline in leisure and hospitality offset some of those gains, however.
Charleston and Lexington counties reported the state’s lowest unemployment rates at 2.9 percent. Bamberg County had the highest at 6.3 percent.
Nationally, the unemployment rate ticked lower to 3.9 percent from June’s rate of 4.0 percent.