Agency: SC set employment total sets in August

Agency: SC set employment total sets in August

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate recorded the largest one-month decline since 1983 and the state set a new employment level record, according to the state's Department of Employment and Workforce.

The agency says the state's unemployment rate dropped from 6.4 percent in July to 6.0 percent in August, marking the third consecutive monthly drop.

The number of employed South Carolinians set a new record in August, increasing by 2,771 people to a total of 2,113,743 people.

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"These numbers reflect the fact that more South Carolinians are working than any time in history," Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement. "Whether it's another business expansion, another groundbreaking or another drop in our unemployment rate, there are great things happening in our state, and we should continue to celebrate the South Carolina success that people all over the country and all over the world are talking about."

The number of unemployed individuals decreased by 7,910 to 135,285 from July to August. This is the largest ever one-month drop in the data series since its inception in 1976.

The executive director of SCDEW, Cheryl Stanton, said it has been 32 years since the state's unemployment rate recorded a one-month decline this dramatic.

"That coupled with our record high employment, are indicators that South Carolina has a quality workforce," Stanton said. "It is exciting to think that more South Carolinians than ever before are working and providing for their families. While we need to celebrate this, we also must continue to invest in developing a pipeline of trained workers to meet the needs of the state's current and future employers."

Seasonally adjusted, non-farm payrolls increased from July to August by 4,300, to reach a record level of 2,007,900, with the most notable increases occurring in government and manufacturing jobs. Gains were also reported in the areas of other services, construction, financial activities, education and health services, leisure and hospitality; and professional and business services. Industries reporting losses were information and trade, transportation, and utilities.

Seasonally-adjusted numbers remove the effect of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year, including tourist-related hiring and school closings in the summer. These adjustments make it easier to observe cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in data over time, the agency said. Historically, employment has experienced growth during the month of August as schools gear up for the semester.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August.

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