Headlines Around the Upstate
South Carolina’s Employment Situation April 2012
Unemployment Rate Continues Decline
May 18, 2012 - The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined for the ninth consecutive month. The rate fell from 8.9 percent in March to 8.8 percent in April. The number of employed dropped by 3,256 to 1,961,327, and the number of unemployed decreased by 2,799 to 189,865. The overall labor force fell 6,055 to 2,151,192 people.
In the last year, approximately 28,290 people found work, signaling ongoing improvement. The labor force as a whole has declined slightly over the year (-5,598), as has the level of unemployed persons, falling 33,887 since April 2011.
Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, with about 340,000 people leaving the labor force in April.
The not-seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll survey showed an increase of 13,500 jobs from March to April 2012. Leisure and Hospitality employment (+7,300) showed a substantial increase for the third consecutive month. The majority of this increase was in the Food and Drinking sector. Trade, Transportation and Utilities increased by 3,400, mostly in Retail Trade activity. Professional and Business Services jobs (+1,000), Manufacturing (+300), and Construction (+500) also showed improvements for the second consecutive month. Education and Health Services increased (+1,300), mostly in Health Care and Social Assistance, while Government jobs fell by 500, primarily in local governments.
Since April 2011, total non-farm employment rose by 16,100 jobs. Manufacturing (+7,800) and Trade Transportation and Utilities (+5,400), experienced the greatest increases. The sub-sectors of Employment Services (+4,600) as well as Health Care and Social Assistance (+2,200) also reported notable gains.
Online job ads in South Carolina, as reported by the Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® data series, showed a small increase of 400 ads from March to April. The number of jobseekers per opening rose slightly from 4.4 to 4.5 this past month. Online ads across the U.S. saw an increase (+90,900) in the last month. Compared to a year ago, online ads in South Carolina were about 1,000 higher in April 2012.
The Trident Workforce Area (Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties) had the most ads (12,606), with the Midlands Workforce Area (Fairfield, Lexington, and Richland Counties) coming in next (11,020). Of all online ads, Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Occupations had the highest number of ads in the state (9,489).
“The decline in the state’s unemployment rate coupled with the number of jobs announcements in recent months show positive signs of growth and stability for South Carolina’s economy.” said SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham J. Turner.