South Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in September from 5.1 percent in August, the first time the jobless rate has dropped below 5 percent since April 2001.
Employment increased in September by 4,682 workers to 2,185,902, a new record high, and the number of unemployed dropped by 4,985 to 112,018. The result was a decrease in the labor force from August to September of 303 people. This is the fifth consecutive month the unemployment rate has decreased.
Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 4.9 in August to 5 percent in September.
Industries that recorded increases were professional and business services, which added 3,300 jobs; education and health services which rose by 2,500 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities which added 1,600 jobs; and, manufacturing which grew by 1,500 jobs. Losses occurred in government by 2,800 jobs and construction, which shed 1,000 jobs.
Charleston County had the lowest rate in the state at 4 percent, outpacing Lexington county at 4.1 percent. Richland County’s jobless rate dropped from 5.4 percent in August to 4.8 percent.