Unemployment Rate Holds Steady In County

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 10.5 percent in June to 10.9 percent in July.
The increase in the number of people moving to the state, combined with a significant increase in new graduates flooding the job market in search of first-time careers, has led to the growth of South Carolina’s labor force.
Dillon County’s unemployment rate is 15.6 percent, the same as the month of June.
The state’s labor force grew by approximately 4,100 from June to July, which is the largest increase this year.
With an already elevated number of jobseekers competing in the job market, these additions have increased the total number of unemployed by 10,360 to 236,420 for July.
While July 2011 nonfarm payroll employment fell by 7,200 (unadjusted), this decline was far less than the usual June-to-July average loss of 18,000.
However, the total July 2011 jobs count is 24,600 higher than a year ago. Private, non-governmental jobs had an over-the-month increase of 6,400 and are above a year ago by 38,000.
Only two industry sectors reported decreases in July. Government registered the sharpest decline at 13,600, while Financial Activities saw a modest decrease of 200.
Employment expansions in several industry sectors helped to temper the declines. With retailers making an early push on back-to-school sales and with the tourist season in full swing, the largest gains were reported in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,700) and Leisure and Hospitality (+1,400). Education and Health Services also reported a healthy gain of 1,300.
The Manufacturing sector continues to churn out more jobs, registering growth for the sixth consecutive month. Manufacturing employment went up 1,800 from a month ago and up 10,700 from a year ago. Healthy gains in Durable Goods are the primary factor behind the Manufacturing advances. Another positive sign includes an increase in the average hourly earnings in Manufacturing to $16.63, up from $16.36 in June.
The Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online Index reflected that nationally, there was a decline in the number of ads posted by employers in July.
The number of online ads in South Carolina fell by 1,500 to 47,100 ads from June to July, with neighboring states experiencing similar trends: Georgia’s on-line ads were down 16,500, Alabama dropped 2,700 and Florida lost 600. When comparing the number of jobseekers with the number of advertised job openings for July, South Carolina had five potential jobseekers for every online job opening.
“As people hear about job announcements in South Carolina, they are re-entering the labor force searching for employment opportunities,” said John Finan, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce.
“While the unemployment rate ticked up this month, it is a promising sign that those people once discouraged about seeking work are now joining the labor force. However, competition in the state is tough as there are currently more job seekers than job openings. We feel confident as the number of new job announcements come to fruition; our state unemployment rate will again begin to trend down.”

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