South Carolina’s unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent in August as the state’s labor force participation rate dipped to 58.4 percent -- the lowest since at least 1976, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday.
That means fewer people have jobs or are actively looking for work. The national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent as folks dropped out of the job hunt.
In South Carolina, employment in professional and business services declined by 2,000 in August from July and the leisure and hospitality industry shed 1,600 jobs as the traditional summer tourism season wrapped up. But government jobs grew by 2,200 and education and health services saw a 1,400-worker increase as schools started up again after the summer break.
The number of unemployed people in the state dropped by more than 2,000 to nearly 205,000 with employment dropping for the fifth straight month by more than 10,000 to 1.9 million.
“While I recognize there is more work to be done, today’s unemployment rate announcement shows me that South Carolina is on the road to economic recovery. We saw healthy gains in the Private Sector as the Education and Health Services, Financial Activities, Construction, and Information sectors all registered increases,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.