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Unemployment rate unchanged in SC in July

Human Resources
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South Carolina’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from June to July at 3.2%, with the state adding an estimated 16,300 nonfarm payroll jobs.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce’s seasonally adjusted, monthly survey of houses estimated the number of South Carolinians working at 2,323,952, a drop of 2,293 people from the June estimate but an increase of 50,677 from July 2021. DEW’s estimate of unemployed people decreased to 75,685 in July, down 2,256 from June and 19,711 from July 2021.  

The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% from 3.6%.

South Carolina’s estimated labor force, or people working plus those looking for work, decreased to 2,399,637, a drop of 4,549 from the June estimate and an increase of 30,966 from July 2021.

“In terms of the big picture, things are looking stable. … However, the estimated number of South Carolinians that were employed decreased by 2,293 from June,” Dan Ellzey, executive director of DEW, said in a news release. “This means that there was a 4,549-person decline in the labor force for the month of July, a first since the early days of the pandemic.

“It is likely that this stems from a one-time aberration in Current Population Survey data, which asks a little over 1,000 households a month in South Carolina about their labor force status. The disconnect in the numbers could also be due to other factors. For example, a person with multiple jobs counts once in the household survey, but twice or more in the employer survey.”

Industries reporting employment gains included education and health services, which added 4,100 jobs, and government, which added 3,600. The only industry reporting a drop was manufacturing, which lost 2,000 jobs.

From July 2021 to July 2022, South Carolina’s economy has added 79,900 nonfarm jobs, according to DEW.

Unemployment rates dropped in every S.C. county except Union, which saw an increase from 5.3% to 5.7%, and four counties where rates remained unchanged: Allendale, Dillon, Chester and Cherokee.

Richland County saw a drop to 3.3% in July from 3.5% in June, while unemployment dropped in Lexington County to 2.6% from 2.8%.

The Columbia metropolitan statistical area added 1,500 jobs from June to July and has added 6,900 from July 2021 to July 2022. Charleston/North Charleston added 3,800 month-to-month and 18,400 year-to-year. Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin added 3,400 month-to-month and 12,300 year-to-year, while Spartanburg added 700 and 4,800, respectively.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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