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S.C. unemployment rate edges upward in November

Staff Report //December 18, 2020

S.C. unemployment rate edges upward in November

Staff Report //December 18, 2020

Unemployment in S.C. MSAs for November    
MSA Jobless rate Nov. Jobless rate Oct.
Greenville-Mauldin 3.60% 3.50%
Columbia 3.90% 3.80%
Charleston-North Charleston 4.00% 4.00%
Florence 4.30% 4.30%

Source: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

South Carolina’s unemployment rate edged upward to 4.4% in November from 4.2% in October.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce’s seasonally adjusted monthly survey estimated the number of South Carolinians working decreased by 63,843 people in November to 2,223,349. That is also a decrease of 103,472 people from November 2019.   

Unemployment estimates increased 1,642 to 102,186 people, an increase of 45,474 from last year.

 The state’s labor force, or people working plus unemployed people looking for work, decreased 62,201 from October to 2,325,535 people. That is a decrease of 57,998 people from November 2019.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in November from 6.9% in October.

“There’s no doubt our nation and state continue to battle back from record high unemployment, but South Carolina’s unemployment rate is holding steady with a slight uptick from 4.2% in October to 4.4% in November,” Dan Ellzey, DEW executive director, said in a statement. “It will take grit and tenacity to rebound fully, not only from employers continuing to find innovative ways to make their workplaces safe, but also for job seekers who are being challenged now more than ever to rethink employment options and unique career opportunities.”

From November 2019 to November 2020, South Carolina’s economy has lost 65,800 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs, according to DEW, though 16,300 nonfarm jobs were gained month-to-month. That included 4,600 jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities industry and 3,800 in leisure and hospitality. Government lost 600 jobs, while financial activities lost 200.

Unemployment in the Columbia and Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin metropolitan statistical areas rose in non-seasonally adjusted numbers from October to November, while the Charleston-North Charleston and Florence MSAs saw no change.

Unemployment ticked up to 4.4% in November from 4.3% in October in Richland County and to 3.1% from 3% in Lexington County. In November 2019, unemployment stood at 2.8% in Richland County and 2.1% in Lexington County.

Charleston County was among six counties seeing a drop in unemployment month-to-month, with the rate falling to 4.1% in November from 4.2% in October. In November 2019, the county had an unemployment rate of 1.8%.

The week ending Dec. 12, in which 3,723 initial unemployment claims were filed in S.C., marked the last week of extended unemployment benefits in the state. Two federal benefits programs will expire at the end of this month.



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