South Carolina’s jobless rate rose for the third straight month in July reflecting the shedding of school jobs and a slower than expected national economic recovery, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday.
The state’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 percent in June from 9.4 percent in May and was fifth-highest in the nation.
The overall labor force fell slightly by 7,191 people to 2,143,275. This pattern is similar to the trend in 2011 of falling employment and rising unemployment during the middle of the year, the department said.
The national unemployment rate increased slightly from 8.2 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July.
The non-farm payroll jobs fell by 22,700 from June to July 2012, with the majority of the decrease, 15,300 jobs, in the government sector, which includes public schools .
Other sectors declining this month included:
Trade, transportation and utilities — down 3,000 jobs, mostly in retail
Professional and business services (mainly temporary work) -- down 1,700
Manufacturing — down 1,600
Construction — down 800 after four consecutive monthly increases.
Education and health services — down by 600 as private schools and health care services declined.
The information sector experienced the only increase, up 200 jobs.
“The state’s unemployment rate has once again mirrored the movements of the national rate,” said Abraham Turner, the department’s executive director. “A decline in payroll employment is typical for this time of year, as educational institutions are on break for the summer.”