S.C.'s unemployment dips 0.2% in February; Charleston metro mixed

Image by Flickr user Kelly B.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly from 9.3% in January to 9.1% in February.

That means for the seventh consecutive month the unemployment rate has declined.

The Charleston metro area edged up, however, from 7.6% to 7.8% — although total area employment increased from 301,021 to 303,975, a rise that was outpaced by the growth of the workforce, leading to the increase.

On the county level:

- Charleston County: Increase from 7.4% to 7.5%
- Dorchester County: Increase from 7.2% to 7.7%
- Berkeley County: Increase from 8.4% to 8.5% 

On a statewide level, with an increase of 9,864 employed people driving the decline, South Carolina experienced its third largest month-to-month gain in employment since 1976. The number of individuals employed in February totaled 1,961,103. The unemployed group fell by 4,137, down to a level of 196,746. 

Non-farm employment in South Carolina increased by 17,900 — most of the gain (+10,100) was from increases in education staffing for the spring semester. Three industrial sectors had robust gains in employment: professional and business services (+3,900), health care and social assistance (+3,200) and leisure and hospitality (+2,700). 

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained flat at 8.3 percent in February. 

You can read the SC Department of Employment and Workforce's full news release on South Carolina's jobs below.

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