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Employment, businesses’ payrolls reach record highs in March

Staff Report //April 20, 2018//

Employment, businesses’ payrolls reach record highs in March

Staff Report //April 20, 2018//

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Editor's note: Because of an error in a news release, this story contained an incorrect figure for seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls. That number should be 1,400. The story has been updated. 

Employment and businesses payrolls reached record levels in March, according to the latest report from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, with an all-time high of 2,225,456 people employed.

The unemployment rate remained at 4.4% in March, ending a four-month trend of rate increases. The state’s labor force grew to 2,327,532 workers, up 2,720 from February.

“More and more people are entering the workforce as businesses continue to add a record number of jobs and hire a record number of South Carolinians, and this something to celebrate,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, in a statement. “As we work to remove barriers to employment, we have found that investing in the education of many of the state’s high school students who are at risk of dropping out helps provide businesses with a needed workforce.”

Since March 2017, the state’s labor force has grown by 21,012 workers, and employment gains totaled 18,810.

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1% from February to March and was 0.4 percentage point lower than in March 2017.  

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls increased by 1,400 in March to a record-high 2,122,800, led by an additional 3,100 jobs in leisure and hospitality. Professional and business services added 1,500 jobs.

Every S.C. county saw a decrease in unemployment in March.

In Richland County, unemployment dropped from 4.5% to 4%, while unemployment in Lexington fell from 3.9% to 3.4%. In March 2017, Richland’s unemployment rate stood at 3.8% and Lexington’s at 3.3%.

In the Lowcountry, Berkeley County’s rate fell from 4.1% to 3.6%, while unemployment in Dorchester fell from 4% to 3.6%. Charleston County, which had the state’s lowest rate, saw unemployment drop from 3.7% to 3.3%.

In the Upstate, unemployment fell in Greenville County from 3.9% to 3.5% and in Spartanburg County 4.1% to 3.7%. Anderson County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.3% to 3.8%.