Unemployment Rate Decreases Slightly
Dillon County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly while the state’s rate went up during the month of July, according to the latest released figures.
Dillon County’s rate decreased to 13.9 percent down from 14.6 percent the month before.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.6 percent in July from 9.4 percent in June. The rise in the rate was fueled by an increasing number of unemployed people (+4,040) and a decrease in people who were employed (-11,231).
As a result, the overall labor force fell slightly by 7,191 people to 2,143,275. This pattern is similar to the trend in 2011 of falling employment and rising unemployment during the middle of the year. The national unemployment rate increased slightly from 8.2 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July.
Historically, employment decreases during the summer months due to the seasonal ebb and flow of employment in the educational sector. The non-farm payroll jobs (not seasonally adjusted) fell by 22,700 from June to July 2012, with the majority of the decrease in Government (-15,300). Other sectors declining this month include Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-3,000, mostly in Retail Trade), Professional and Business Services (-1,700), and Manufacturing (-1,600). Employment in the Construction industry moved slightly downward (-800) after four consecutive monthly increases. Education and Health Services jobs declined by 600 as private educational schools and ambulatory health care services declined. The Information sector experienced the only increase (+200).
Since July 2011, non-farm employment saw an overall increase of 11,300 jobs. Professional and Business Services reported a gain over the year (+5,500), mostly in temporary Employment Services. The Manufacturing sector also grew 4,600 from July 2011 to July 2012. Sectors that showed a decline in employment during the past year include Construction (-2,100), Leisure and Hospitality (-1,000) and Financial Activities (-600).
Online job ads in South Carolina, as reported by the Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine data series, showed a decrease of about 2,200 ads from June to July. The number of jobseekers per opening increased slightly from 3.5 to 3.7 this past month. Online ads across the United States saw a decrease of 153,600 in the last month. Compared to a year ago, online ads in South Carolina were approximately 7,100 higher in July 2012.
The Trident Workforce Area (Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties) had the most ads (13,598), with the Midlands Workforce Area (Fairfield, Lexington, and Richland counties) coming in next (12,776). Of all online ads, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations had the highest number of ads in the state (9,909).
“The state’s unemployment rate has once again mirrored the movements of the national rate. A decline in payroll employment is typical for this time of year, as educational institutions are on break for the summer,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce. “However, DEW remains steadfast and focused on its efforts to put South Carolinians back to work.”