County’s jobless rate dips

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State, national rates increase

By Jesef Williams

Lancaster County saw a drop in its unemployment rate last month, though state and national numbers went in the opposite direction.

The county’s July jobless rate was 12.7 percent, a drop from the 12.9 percent it posted in June. The county’s July 2011 rate was 13.9.

Last month, of the 30,593 people in Lancaster County’s workforce, 3,874 of them were unemployed, according to figures recently released by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

South Carolina’s unemployment rate increased to 9.6 percent in July from 9.4 percent in June. The jump was fueled by a 4,040 increase in the number of unemployed people and a 11,231 drop in the number of people employed statewide.

The national unemployment rate for July increased slightly to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

In South Carolina, Marion County (at 17.6 percent) once again had the highest unemployed rate, followed by Allendale County (16.9 percent) and Marlboro County (16.3 percent).

The Palmetto State's lowest unemployed figures for July belonged to Lexington County (7.3 percent).

Next was Saluda County at 7.6 percent, followed by Greenville and Charleston counties, which each posted 7.9 percent.

Among Lancaster’s bordering counties, Chester County had the highest July unemployment rate of 14.7 percent. Chesterfield County posted 12.7 percent, followed by Fairfield (11.7 percent), York (10.8 percent) and Kershaw (9.2) counties.

Across the state, non-farm payroll jobs – which aren’t seasonally adjusted – fell by 22,700 from June to July, with the majority of the decrease in government, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce.

The only significant job increase was seen in the information sector, with the hiring of 200 people.

“The state’s unemployment rate has once again mirrored the movements of the national rate. A decline in payroll employment is typical for this time of year, as educational institutions are on break for the summer,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “However, DEW remains steadfast and focused on its efforts to put South Carolinians back to work.”


Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152