Employment News

South Carolina’s jobless rate rises slightly

Associated Press

South Carolina’s unemployment rate increased slightly last month.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that May’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May.

The agency also said that the number of people working in the state last month reached a record of more than 2.1 million.

The national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in May, up from 5.4 percent in April.

Regionally York, Chester and Lancaster counties all saw a slight increase in unemployment rates but year-to-year comparisons show that the unemployment rates have been largely stable. The rates are at, or below, unemployment rates before the recent recession.

Chester County ranked 11th in the state at 9 percent, up from 8.6 percent in April. The unemployment rate for May of 2014 was 9 percent. The yearly average for 2014 was also 9 percent.

Lancaster County’s rate rose from 6.6 percent in April to 7.1 percent in May. A year ago in May the rate was 7.1 percent and the 2014 yearly average was 6.7 percent.

York County’s rose from 5.7 percent in April to 6.1 percent in May. A year ago in May the rate was 6 percent and the yearly average for 2014 was 6 percent.

Rock Hill’s unemployment rate has remained stable, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rock Hill’s rate for March and April was 6.3 percent. Data for cities generally is one month behind county rates. The 2014 yearly unemployment rate for Rock Hill was 6.2 percent.

Statewide in May the trade, transportation and utilities sector had the biggest job loss last month, with 3,200 fewer jobs compared to April.

Both manufacturing and health and education showed increases of 800 jobs in May, compared with April.

Allendale County had the largest jobless rate at 11.6 percent. Charleston County had the lowest rate at 5.4 percent. The local figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors.

Unemployment rates

Jurisdiction May April

York County 6.1 5.7

Lancaster County 7.1 6.6

Chester County 9 8.6

South Carolina 6.8 6.7

United States 5.5 5.4