Unemployment drops in SC, thousands leave the labor force

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2022 at 5:33 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The latest data from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce shows the state’s unemployment rate fell in August but so did the number of people in the state’s labor force.

The unemployment rate in our state dropped last month from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent, and there were about 74,500 people unemployed—about 18,000 less than August 2022, according to the data.

This comes as about 5,000 people left the labor force.

“While the numbers tend to fluctuate from month to month, South Carolina continues to enjoy record employment this year,” S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey said. “Some employers have had temporary layoffs due to parts and supply shortages, and there are business closures.

The leisure and hospitality industry and the construction industry both saw declines last month, according to the department.

“What makes this time unique is the number of alternatives and opportunities for job seekers,” Ellzey said. “There are more than 100,000 jobs available across the state as well as training and development to help people gain skills for a new job.”

Multiple industries are showing strong growth this year, Ellzey says, including accommodation and food services—which has grown by nearly 15,000—as well as retail trade and the government sectors, which have grown by about 8,000 people.