Job situation betters in October for South Carolina as local numbers hold largely steady

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Continuing the improvement trend seen in September, October's unemployment data once again bodes well for South Carolina, falling from 9.1% to 8.6%.

“Today’s announcement marks the state’s lowest unemployment rate in nearly four years, as well as the second consecutive month that the unemployment rate has continued a steady decline,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham J. Turner. “While this is certainly welcome news, DEW will continue to work diligently with businesses as it remains steadfast and focused on its efforts to put South Carolinians back to work.” 

Nationally, the unemployment rate moved slightly higher from 7.8% in September to 7.9% in October, primarily driven by an increase of 578,000 people in the labor force. While some 410,000 more people found work, nearly 170,000 more began searching and were unable to find work during the month.

South Carolina saw an increase of 11,100 jobs over the same period to 1,874,900; the size of the workforce also grew by 3,891. During the last year the number of jobs in the state is up 34,500 (about 1.9%). 

The Charleston area also saw improvement, with unemployment falling 0.1% points to 6.7%, however this improvement was mainly fueled by a decrease in the labor pool of 398 persons as the job market contracted by 249.

  • Charleston County held at a flat 6.5% unemployment as the labor force contracted by 327 and jobs contracted by 134.
  • Dorchester County was flat at 6.7% with labor contracting by 94 and jobs contracting 52.
  • Berkeley County edged up from 7.3% to 7.4% with labor increasing by 21 and jobs dropping by 64.

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