Unemployment Rate Increases

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 9.4 percent in June from 9.1 percent in May. This is the second consecutive rise in the rate, but is well below the June 2011 rate of 10.5 percent.
Dillon County’s rate increased to 14.7 percent in June up from 13.9 percent in May. In June 2011, Dillon County’s rate was 15.5 percent.
The top ten in unemployment for the month of June were Marion County (18 percent), Marlboro County (17.6 percent), Allendale County (16.9 percent), Bamberg County (15.3 percent), Barnwell County (15.2 percent), Chester County (14.8 percent), Union County (14.8 percent), Clarendon County (14.7 percent), Dillon County (14.7 percent), and Orangeburg County (13.9 percent).
The climb in the rate was fueled by an increasing number of unemployed people (up 6,618 in June to 202,918) and a decrease in people who were employed (down 9,391 to 1,947,936). The decline in employment can be attributed to a fall in full-time jobs with schools out for the summer. The overall labor force moved downward slightly by 2,773 people to 2,150,854.
Nationally, the unemployment rate remained the same from May to June at 8.2 percent.
Overall non-farm payroll jobs (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 1,800 from May to June 2012, with a strong seasonal rise in Leisure and Hospitality (+3,700). Three sectors (Manufacturing; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Professional and Business Services) had gains of 1,500 each. Construction also posted a healthy increase (+1,000).
A large summer drop in state and local education gave Government employment a decline of 4,900 from May to June 2012, along with a smaller decrease in Education and Health Services (-1,500).
In the last year, total non-farm employment saw an overall increase of 22,800 jobs. The strong Manufacturing sector grew 7,400 from June 2011 to June 2012, and Professional and Business Services also reported a large gain over the year (+7,200), with the Employment Services subsector adding 6,700 of that increase. In addition, large over-the-year gains were posted in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,800) and Education and Health Services (+3,400), mostly in Healthcare and Social Assistance. In the last year, both Construction and Financial Activities employment has dropped 1,200.
Online job ads in South Carolina, as reported by the Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® data series, showed an increase of about 4,000 ads from May to June. The number of jobseekers per opening decreased slightly from 3.7 to 3.5 this past month. Online ads across the United States saw an increase of 232,300 in the last month. Compared to a year ago, online ads in South Carolina were approximately 7,700 higher in June 2012.
The Trident Workforce Area (Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties) had the most ads (13,214), with the Midlands Workforce Area (Fairfield, Lexington, and Richland counties) coming in next (11,920). Of all online ads, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations had the highest number of ads in the state (10,509).
“While South Carolina’s unemployment rate edged up from May to June, much progress has been made since last year as there were more than 22,000 jobs added,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce. “Businesses continue to choose our great state as a place to locate or expand, and DEW is committed to working with employers to meet their workforce needs.”

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