State’s unemployment rate dips
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in South Carolina decreased to 8.6 percent in February from January’s rate of 8.7 percent, according to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
Nationally, the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February.
The number of employed persons in our state increased to 1,991,575, the highest level since August 2008, and unemployed persons fell to 187,673 in February. Since February 2012, employment has increased 26,510.
The non-farm job count (not seasonally adjusted) in the state increased 17,900 from January to February to total 1,857,600.
Large gains in February were reported in these sectors: Government (+8,000); Leisure and Hospitality (+4,100); Education and Health Services (+3,800); and, Professional and Business Services (+2,300).
Smaller increases were seen in Construction (+900); Financial Services (+700); Information (+500); and Manufacturing (+300). The increases in Government, Education and Health Services were driven by schools (public and private) ramping up hiring for the spring term and by more demand for health care and social services.
Hotels and restaurants helped bump up Leisure and Hospitality, and increased use of employment services (i.e. temporary agencies) helped improve employment in Professional Business Services.
The only losses were in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-2,300) and Other Services (-400).
Since February 2012, non-farm jobs in the state were up 30,100. Industries driving these gains in the past 12 months included Leisure and Hospitality (+10,800); Government (+6,100); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,200); and, Financial Activities (+3,300). Increases in Construction (+2,500) and Manufacturing (+2,100) also helped push the growth. Professional and Business Services reported a large drop (-2,900) over the year.