County’s jobless rate rises in May

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State’s rate remains steady at 8 percent

By Jesef Williams

Lancaster County saw an increase in its jobless rate from April to May, according to data released last week by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The county had a 10.2 unemployment rate for May, compared to 9.9 percent the month before.

By comparison, the county’s May 2012 unemployment rate was 11.5 percent.

Last month, Lancaster County had an official labor force of 32,464. 

Of that total, 3,311 residents were officially unemployed.

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 8 percent – the same as April. The number of unemployed people fell by 1,773, while the number of employed rose by 1,497. That makes May the 11th consecutive month employment has increased.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose slightly from 7.5 to 7.6 percent, prompted by people reentering the workforce.

“This month is the closest South Carolina’s rate has been to the national rate since March 2008, when both rates were below 6 percent,” said a release from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

County-level numbers

All but one of the state’s 46 counties saw increases in the unemployment rate from April to May. Saluda County remained unchanged at 6.4 percent. 

Lexington County posted the state’s lowest jobless  rate, with 6.1 percent in May. Greenville and Charleston counties tied for second at 6.2 percent.

Marion County continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the state. For May, it posted 15.2 percent. Allendale County was again second with 14.2 percent, followed by Marlboro County at 14.1 percent.

Among Palmetto State counties bordering Lancaster County, Chester County’s 11.8 percent unemployment rate was the highest for May. Chesterfield County was next at 10.8 percent, followed by Fairfield (10.6 percent), York (9.7) and Kershaw (6.7) counties.


Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152