South Carolina's unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in July from 4.5% in June, with the leisure and hospitality industry gaining 9,300 jobs, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce's seasonally adjusted monthly household survey.
The estimated number of South Carolinians working increased by 10,217 people from June to July to 2,299,509, according to DEW. That number also represented an increase of 55,704 people from July 2020.
Unemployment estimates decreased to 103,464 in July, a drop of 3,603 from June and a decrease of 80,006 from July 2020. The state's estimated labor force, or people working plus unemployed people looking for work, increased to 2,402,973, an increase of 6,614 from June and a decrease of 24,302 from July 2020.
Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.4% in July from 5.9% in June.
South Carolina gained 20,100 nonfarm payroll jobs month-to-month, according to the survey, and has gained 98,000 year-to-year. Other industries reporting gains from June to July included government (5,100) and construction (2,600). Trade, transportation and utilities lost 300 jobs.
The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 2,300 jobs from June to July and has added 9,000 jobs year-to-year. The Charleston/North Charleston MSA added 1,700 jobs month-to-month and 20,800 year-to-year, while Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin gained 3,800 from June to July and 18,300 year-to-year. Spartanburg added 200 jobs from June to July and has gained 9,500 from July 2020 to July 2021.
Unemployment rose in eight S.C. counties from June to July, including Bamberg, which has the state's highest unemployment rate at 8.9%.
In Richland County, unemployment dropped to 4.5% in July from 4.6% in June. Lexington County saw a drop from 3.5% to 3.3%. In July 2020, unemployment stood at 7.7% in Richland County and at 5.5% in Lexington County.