Unemployment Rate Trend Continues Downward; Employment Hits Highest Level Ever
In March, South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.5 percent from February’s rate of 5.7 percent. The last time the Palmetto State’s rate was at this level was in March 2008. From February to March 2014, the number of unemployed persons declined by 5,077, to a level of 119,058.
The estimated number of employed persons in March was 2,046,002, up 6,560 since February. This is the eighth consecutive monthly increase and marks a state historic employment high. From March 2013 to March 2014, an estimated 32,555 people have found work.
The labor force increased slightly in March, up by 1,483 to 2,165,060. Since March 2013 the labor force has declined by nearly 23,982 people.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March.
Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted1)
March’s seasonally adjusted, non-farm payrolls increased by 10,200 over the month, to reach the level of 1,922,400. This over-the-month change is the first employment increase since December 2013.
- Gains were reported in Professional and Business Services (+3,900); Construction (+2,500); Education and Health Services (+1,900); Leisure and Hospitality (+800); and Manufacturing (+500), with smaller increases in Other Services (+400); Government (+200); and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+100).
- A decrease occurred only in Financial Activities (-100), and Information remained flat.
Since March 2013, seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up 37,600.
- Healthy increases were seen in Leisure and Hospitality (+9,200); Professional and Business Services (+8,700); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+5,900); Education and Health Services (+5,500); Manufacturing (+5,400); and Construction (+4,500), with a small gain in Other Services (+200).
- Government (-1,000); Financial Activities (-500); and Information (-200) experienced losses.
Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)
The not-seasonally adjusted, non-farm payroll employment in March increased by 26,000 over the month to 1,917,100. This increase is typical as many private businesses increase hiring at the start of spring. Gains were in Leisure and Hospitality (+9,300); Professional and Business Services (+4,400); Government (+4,300); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+2,300); Construction (+2,100); Education and Health Services (+1,700); Manufacturing (+900); Other Services (+800); and Financial Activities (+200). No industries reported losses since last month.
Since March 2013, jobs were up 39,400 overall with gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+11,400); Professional and Business Services (+8,000); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+6,000); Education and Health Services (+6,000); Manufacturing (+5,100); and Construction (+3,500). There were modest losses over the year in Information (-200); Government (-200); Financial Activities (-100); Natural Resources and Mining (-100).
“South Carolina has seen 10 consecutive months of a declining unemployment rate. The state’s economy is on the right track,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, DEW Executive Director. “More South Carolinians are working now than ever before. Businesses and workforce partners continue to work every day to make sure we get every South Carolinian back to work.”
For the full employment situation, including county-level data, visit the DEW website.