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South Carolina’s Employment Situation December 2012

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SOUTH CAROLINA - January 18, 2013 - The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.4 percent in December from 8.3 percent in November. The rate was 1.2 percent lower than the December 2011 rate of 9.6 percent. The rate was 1.2 percent lower than the December 2011 rate of 9.6 percent.

Over the month, the number of employed improved by 5,325 to 1,969,560. The number of unemployed grew since November by 3,211 to 180,032 in December, and the labor force expanded by 8,536 to 2,149,592.

SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham Turner’s Statement on State’s December Unemployment Rate: “Typically, we see a small decrease in employment in December because of seasonal declines in the Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, and Government sectors. Nonetheless, I am encouraged as the state’s overall job growth trend throughout 2012 was at a pace similar to historical levels before the recent recession. This is welcomed news as we move forward in 2013, when DEW will continue partnering closely with businesses and jobseekers to put South Carolinians back to work.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent, with roughly 28,000 more Americans working and 164,000 additional people searching for work.

South Carolina's nonagricultural employment (not seasonally adjusted) fell 5,800 from November to December 2012, reaching 1,874,300. This was the first decline since July 2012. Since a year ago, non-farm jobs were up 31,500 or 1.7 percentage points, compared to a national increase of 1.4 percentage points.
Employment by Industry
  • Although overall payroll employment declined in December, several industries saw growth: Trade Transportation and Utilities (+2,400), Education and Health Services (+1,100), and Construction (+700). Modest increases were seen in Financial Activities (+300) and Information (+100). In addition, retail trade demand remained high, and health care needs continued in a positive direction during the month.
  • Leisure and Hospitality fell 5,900 due to a drop in demand for arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services. Local government services and employment services demand was also down during the month causing a drop of 2,300 in Government and 1,700 in Professional and Business Services.