SC's unemployment rate drops to 8.6 percent in October

South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped significantly in October to 8.6 percent from the September estimate of 9.1 percent, according to a release from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

The number of unemployed people decreased over the month by 10,814 to 183,024. While the number of employed people increased by 14,705 to 1,954,801.

Since October 2011, the unemployment rate has fallen 1.5 percentage points.

Nationally, the unemployment rate moved slightly higher from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October, primarily driven by an increase in the labor force of 578,000 people.

About 410,000 more people found work but nearly 170,000 more people began searching and were unable to find work during the month.

Nonagricultural employment (not seasonally-adjusted) in South Carolina saw an increase of 11,100 over the month to 1,874,900.

Since October 2011, the number of jobs in the state was up 34,500 (about 1.9 percent). The number of jobs was up nationally by approximately 1.5 percent from a year ago.

Employment by Industry

  • · For the second consecutive month, the industry gaining the most jobs was government (5,100 jobs, 1.49%), with continued increases in local and state education services.

  • · Other industries with added jobs were Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (1,900 jobs, 0.54 percent); Financial Activities (1,300 jobs, 1.33 percent); Education and Health Services (1,200 jobs, 0.53 percent); and Construction (900 jobs, 1.2 percent). These job gains were due to growth in Trade as the holidays approach and more demand for private educational and specialty trade contractor services.

  • · Over the month, jobs were lost in Leisure and Hospitality (-400 jobs, -0.19 percent) and Information (-200, -0.74 percent) due to seasonal declines for accommodation and food services in the coastal areas and less demand for publishing and distribution of information. The Mining and Logging, Manufacturing, and Professional and Business Services sectors were unchanged over the month.