Revisions Send Unemployment Rate Below 4%, Employment Up Almost 41,000 Since Last Year

Monday, August 21st, 2017

“While we are pleased to see the unemployment rate drop below 4 percent, we realize there are many families that recently have been affected by layoffs. Seeing our business community come together this week to provide opportunities to these and other workers encourages me that people will not be out of work long. South Carolina’s economy is strong, and businesses are hiring, as indicated by the nearly 60,000 jobs currently available across the state.” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged in July from June’s revised rate of 3.9 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was below 4 percent before the latest revisions was in November 2000.

The number of unemployed people edged lower by 141 to 91,486. The number of individuals working across the state fell by 2,217 to 2,228,354 people in July, resulting in the labor force decrease by 2,358 to 2,319,840 people.

Since July 2016, employment gains totaled 40,958, and the labor force has grown by 22,848 people. The level of unemployed people decreased by 18,110.

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased from 4.4 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July.

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted1)

Seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment for July 2017 increased by 7,700 over the month to a record high level of 2,092,000.

- Bright spots for job gains were in Professional and Business Services (+2,800); Government (+2,200); Manufacturing (+1,900); Leisure and Hospitality (+1,700); and Education and Health Services (+1,300). Additional gains were reported in Financial Activities (+300); Other Services (+300); Construction (+200); and Information (+100).

- The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-3,100) industry saw job losses.

Compared to July 2016, seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs were up 29,800.

- Manufacturing (+9,300); Education and Health Services (+5,700); Professional and Business Services (+5,600); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+4,000); Construction (+3,200); Leisure and Hospitality (+1,900); Financial Activities (+1,100); and Government (+800) all had healthy increases.

- Decreases were reported in Other Services (-1,200) and Information (-700).

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 1,700 from June 2017 to July 2017 for a total of 2,092,800. Growth was concentrated primarily in the Leisure and Hospitality (+1,700) sector.

- Additional over-the-month increases were reported in Manufacturing (+1,000); Financial Activities (+400); Education and Health Services (+300); and Professional and Business Services (+200).

- Construction and Information saw no change.

- Employment declines were seen in the Government (-10,100); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-2,600); Other Services (-300); and Mining and Logging (-100).

Since July 2016, not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs were up 34,000 overall in South Carolina.

- Annual gains were marked in Manufacturing (+9,200); Professional and Business Services (+7,800); Education and Health Services (+4,900); Construction (+4,300); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+4,200); Leisure and Hospitality (+2,800); and Government (+2,600).

- Additional gains were in Financial Activities (+900) and Mining and Logging (+100).

- Decreases occurred in the Other Services (-2,200) and Information (-600) sectors.

1Seasonally Adjusted: Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year (i.e. tourist-related hiring and school closings in the summer). These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in data over time.


2Not Seasonally Adjusted: Effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed from these data.