Rise in SC labor force outpaces rise in employment

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While the number of people working in South Carolina hit a new record and the size of the workforce rose, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly in January, officials from the SC Department of Education and Workforce said Monday.

Employment rose by 9,373 in January from December 2016 to 2,209,235 people, but the labor force increased by 12,614 to 2,310,701 people. The unemployed rate rose 0.1 percent to 4.4 percent in January from 4.3 percent in December 2016. The number of unemployed increased by 3,241, to 101,466 people.

Over the past year, employment gains totaled 42,022 and unemployment decreased by 23,683. Since January 2016, the labor force has grown by 18,339.

Nationally, January’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, up from 4.7 percent in December 2016.

South Carolina saw job gains in professional and business services (+4,000); financial activities (+2,800); other services (+1,300); education and health services (+500); and information (+300).

Decreases occurred in the leisure and hospitality (-1,600); trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,300); government (-600); manufacturing (-100); and construction (-100) sectors.

Compared to January 2016, seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs were up 40,500.

“It is encouraging to see nearly 10,000 people find work in January, setting a new employment record in the state,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “The economy in South Carolina is strong, and more and more people are feeling optimistic and are entering the job market to take advantage of the opportunities presented by employers that have decided to grow their businesses here.”

Locally, the Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin MSA saw a 0.15% drop in seasonally adjusted jobs, to 411,600 in January 2017 from 412,200 in December 2016. The Spartanburg MSA saw a 0.07% drop, from 148,900 to 148,800, during the same period.

For the complete report, visit dew.sc.gov.

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