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More people in Lancaster County are looking for work, according to recent data released by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW).
The county’s jobless rate for May was 11.9 percent, up 0.3 percent from April. Last year, the county posted a 13.8 percent unemployment rate in May.
State rate rises to 9.1 percent
South Carolina’s May 2012 unemployment figures showed the same 0.3 percent increase (8.8 percent to 9.1 percent). The 8.8 percent rate in April was the lowest in more than three years for the Palmetto State.
Until May, the South Carolina’s jobless rate had fallen for 10 consecutive months, mirroring a national trend.
The number of unemployed people in the state went down, but the number of people with jobs also went down.
The latest data show the number of unemployed people in the state increased by 5,861 to 195,905. At the same time, the number of employed people decreased by 3,886 to 1,957, 360.
With the exception of manufacturing jobs (a 200-job loss), all major employment sectors in South Carolina showed an increased jobless rate.
When compared to May 2011, the leisure and hospitality sector posted a lost of 2,500 jobs and there are 1,700 less construction jobs than the same time last year. The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs, while natural resources and mining categories registered a 200-job loss.
“Despite our unemployment rate edging up this month, more than 24,000 of our fellow citizens have found jobs in the past year,” said Abraham Turner of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.
“We are encouraged that people are entering the labor force searching for employment and DEW continues to remained focused on putting South Carolinians back to work,” Turner said.
National rate now 8.2 percent
The national unemployment rate rose slightly in May, to 8.2 percent, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. National unemployment has hovered in the low 8 percent range throughout 2012.
The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or longer, rose to 5.4 million workers and accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.
County 16th highest in state
Lancaster County’s 11.9 percent rate ranked as the 16th highest in the state for March. Among bordering counties, Chester had the highest at 13.6 percent, followed by Fairfield (12.2), Chesterfield (11.9), York (9.8) and Kershaw (8.3) counties.
Marion County had the state’s highest jobless rate last month at 17.1 percent. Allendale and Marlboro counties were second at 16.1 percent.
Lexington County had the lowest rate for May (7.3).