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Unemployment rate falls to 2.3% in December

Staff Report //January 24, 2020//

Unemployment rate falls to 2.3% in December

Staff Report //January 24, 2020//

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South Carolina’s unemployment rate continued its record drop, falling to 2.3% in December 2019 from 2.4% in November 2019.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce estimated the number of South Carolinians working climbed to a record 2,329,639 people, up 4,964 since November 2019 and an increase of 74,712 people from December 2018.

Unemployment estimates dropped to 55,295 people in December 2019, down 2,735 since November of last year and 19,949 since December 2018. The state’ labor force, or those working plus unemployed people looking for work, jumped to 2,384,934, up 2,229 from November 2019 and 54,763 from December 2018.

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged from November to December at 3.5%.

Statewide, the trade, transportation and utilities industry saw an increase of 2,400 workers, while construction saw an increase of 800 workers. Professional and business services saw a drop of 1,000 workers.

Unemployment in every county edged upward in December 2019 except in Saluda County, where it remained unchanged at 2.1%. In Richland County, unemployment increased to 2.2% from 2.1% in November 2019, while in Lexington County, it increased to 1.9% from 1.8%. That percentage is tied with Charleston County for the lowest in the state.

In December 2018, unemployment stood at 3.3% in Richland County and 2.7% in Lexington County.