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State unemployment drops to 4.2% in April

Staff Report //May 18, 2018//

State unemployment drops to 4.2% in April

Staff Report //May 18, 2018//

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Unemployment dropped to 4.2% in April from 4.4% in March as the number of people working in South Carolina reached an all-time high.

Employment numbers increased by 318 to a record level of 2,225,570, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday. Unemployment decreased by 4,157 to 97,922.

The state’s seasonally adjusted labor force has grown by 15,916 people since April 2017, with employment gains totaling 16,266.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% from 4.1% in March. As on the state level, a drop in the labor force drove that decline, as fewer people looked for work.

Manufacturing sector jobs in South Carolina rose by 900, with trade, transportation and utilities jobs growing by 600. Construction jobs saw a drop of 1,300, while leisure and hospitality jobs dipped by 1,200.

The construction and financial services sectors are reporting declines for the year.

DEW executive director Cheryl Stanton said while the number of people working in the state is reason to celebrate, work remains to be done. She cited a recent Pew Research Center study that showed around one in 10 people don’t have functional computer skills.

“The State Workforce Development Board recently awarded $225,000 for the development of programs to improve the computer literacy skills for those in need so they too can participate in today’s robust and changing workplace,” Stanton said in a statement.

Unemployment edged downward in every S.C. county. In Richland County, unemployment fell to 2.8% in April from 4% in March and 3.6% in April 2017. Lexington County saw a drop to 2.4% in April from 3.4% in March and 3% in April 2017.