Looking for jobs in York, Lancaster, Chester counties? Here’s where they are.

Schools in York County, science in Lancaster County, manufacturing in Chester County. New employment data shows which industries are growing in South Carolina, with local trends many job-seekers could find helpful.

South Carolina saw its workforce dip in September, but also its unemployment rate, according to new employment data from the state Department of Employment and Workforce.

“The month of September was challenging for people in our state, as we weathered the devastating effects of two storms,” said Cheryl Stanton, agency executive director. “Many jobs were interrupted by the unprecedented events of Hurricane Florence and/or Hurricane Michael.”

Stanton said the state is persevering through the storms.

“The health of our economy and the resilience of our citizens will help us continue to rally, recover and get back to work,” she said.

The state lists employment data two ways.

Seasonally adjusted data accounts for and removes patterned job gains and losses, like tourism hiring or school closings each summer. Then there is raw data. Experts say the seasonally adjusted numbers give a clearer picture of overall industry trends.

Both data groups exclude farming jobs, which can be more difficult to calculate.

In September, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 percent. The national rate of 3.7 percent also dipped from the previous month. South Carolina had fewer workers and fewer jobs in September compared to August, but 27,600 more jobs in September than the state did a year earlier.

Industries growing the most from August to September were construction (300 jobs), education and health services (200) and manufacturing (200).

Industries with the highest gains from September 2017 were education and health services (9,900); trade, transportation and utilities (8,300); other services (3,500); manufacturing (2,700); government (2,200); professional business services (1,000); construction (700); and leisure and hospitality (100).

Job losses were reported in financial activities (800) and information (200).

September Job Growth/Decline in South Carolina Changes since August, and since September 2017
Industry 1-Month Job Change 1-Year Job Change
Education/Health Services 200 9,900
Trade/Transportation/Utilities -2,600 8,300
Other Services -500 3,500
Manufacturing 200 2,700
Government -600 2,200
Professional/Business Services -1,400 1,000
Construction 300 700
Leisure/Hospitality -9,300 100
Financial Activities -200 -800
Information -400 -200
Total -14,500 27,600
SOURCE: S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

In August, South Carolina had a record 2,227,867 workers.

Closer to home

Along with regular job data, the employment and workforce agency profiles counties. The most current data from those profiles shows two counties earning above the state average, and how many potential employees there are for each posted job.

York County has 4.9 percent of the state’s population but brings in 5.2 percent of its income. More than 93,000 York County workers make an average of $23.38 an hour, or $48,620 a year. Both figures are higher than statewide averages. There are 4.8 candidates for every job opening in York County.

The five employers with the most job openings in the county are Tenet Healthcare, LPL Financial, York School District 1, Honeywell International and Sunbelt Rentals. County unemployment in August matched the state rate at 3.4 percent.

Lancaster County accounts for 1.7 percent of the state’s population and 1.6 percent of its income. More than 24,000 employees make an average of $23.55 an hour or $48,984 a year, both above state averages. Lancaster County has 15.8 potential candidates for each job opening.

The most openings come from the Lancaster County School District, Community Health Systems, Stanley Black & Decker, Cabela’s and Continental Ag. August unemployment was 4 percent.

Chester County is home to .7 percent of the state’s population, earning .5 percent of its income. The 9,000 employees in Chester County earn an average of $20.88 an hour, or $43,420 a year. Both numbers are below the state average. The county has 57.8 available candidates for every job opening.

Top organizations with job listings are the South Carolina Department of Transportation, Army National Guard, Community Health Systems, United Natural Foods and Boise Cascade Holdings. Unemployment in August sat at 5 percent.

Looking for work?

The five industries employing the most workers in York County are retail, manufacturing, accommodation and food service, healthcare and education.

The county has seen plenty of manufacturing growth of late, from announced expansions or relocations like Wheel Pros in York, Performance Friction near Clover and others. When Wheel Pros announced earlier this month it would bring more than 270 jobs, co-founders Jody Groce and Randy White noted state and county efforts to draw new business.

“We are eager to begin production and continue our strong tradition of quality and craftsmanship,” the pair said in a statement. “Both York County and the state of South Carolina have been a pleasure to work with, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

Gov. Henry McMaster called the Wheel Pros move “another exciting milestone” for the state.

“As we continue to make South Carolina the best place to work, live and raise a family,” he said, “it’s no wonder that York County is a national leader in job creation.”

Accommodation is similar, with a hotel boom the past couple of years in Fort Mill and Rock Hill.

As for education, it accounts for nearly a third of the 20 largest employers countywide. All four public school districts, Winthrop University and York Technical College make the list.

Public jobs are big in the county. Along with the six education employers, Rock Hill and York County make the top employers list. While financial jobs aren’t showing gains statewide, they are represented among York County’s biggest employers with LPL Financial and Wells Fargo.

Lancaster County has the most jobs in professional, scientific and technical services; manufacturing, retail, healthcare and accommodation and food service.

Top employers cover public jobs (Lancaster County, City of Lancaster, Lancaster High School, Department of Corrections), healthcare (Cardinal Health, CMHA Primary Care, Lancaster Hospital), retail (Wal-Mart) and manufacturing (Continental Tire, Duracell, Keer America, Nutramax).

Chester County is dominated by manufacturing. There are more than three times as many manufacturing jobs as the next largest industry, retail.

John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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