York, Chester, Lancaster counties see employment gains

Employment numbers in York, Chester and Lancaster counties improved in March, with Chester County seeing the biggest gain. The statewide unemployment rate rose sightly.

Chester County’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.7 percent, from 9.6 percent in February, according to the state Department of Employment and Workforce Development. Chester County still has the 10th-highest unemployment rate in the state, however. Ninety-four more people were employed in March.

York and Lancaster counties also posted modest gains, with the unemployment rate dropping 0.5 percent in each county.

In York County, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, down from 6.4 percent in February. The number of people employed rose by 867 from February to March.

Lancaster County’s jobless rate was 6.7 percent, down from 7.2 percent in February. The number of people employed rose by 257 workers.

For South Carolina, the unemployment rate increased to 6.7 percent in March from 6.6 percent in February. Despite that fall, it was the 64th consecutive month of employment growth and the 14th straight month of growth in the labor force.

Nationally the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent in March.

South Carolina’s biggest employment increase came in the construction industry, which added 1,100 jobs statewide, and education and health services, which added 700.