Published June 15, 2012
South Carolina’s unemployment rate rose in May for the first time in 10 months.
The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce attributed the increase to more people entering the labor market.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached 9.1%, up from April’s reading of 8.8%.
The ranks of jobless in South Carolina climbed by 5,861 people to 195,905, the agency reported. Meanwhile, the number of employed people dropped 3,886 to 1.96 million.
Unemployment rates for metro areas
Source: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
“Historically, South Carolina’s unemployment rate fluctuations have mirrored the movements of the national rate, and this month is no exception,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of S.C. DEW. “We are encouraged that people are entering the labor force searching for employment.”
South Carolina’s jobless rate in May 2011 was 10.4%.
Although the overall jobless rate was up, the agency reported that several sectors reported increases in jobs. Non-farm payroll climbed 16,800 jobs between May and April, with much of the increase coming in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which was up 4,700 jobs; followed by professional and business services, also up 4,700; and leisure and hospitality, up 3,700 jobs.
Construction added 1,400 jobs in May, marking the third consecutive month of increases in that sector. Education and health services was up 1,100 jobs, while financial activities reported an increase of 1,000 jobs in May. Manufacturing posted the only loss among major sectors this month, declining by 200 jobs. Since May 2011, non-farm employment has climbed by 21,400, the agency said.
All but two of the state’s counties — Marlboro and York — reported an uptick in their jobless rates. Marlboro, which has the state’s third highest unemployment figure, improved to 16.1% in May compared to 16.8% in April. York’s jobless rate in May was 9.8%, down from April’s rate of 10.8%.
Marion County had the highest jobless rate at 17.1% while Lexington County recorded the lowest at 7.3%.