More people than ever are working in South Carolina, according to a monthly employment update by the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down to 6.5 percent in December from 6.7 percent a month earlier. Unemployment shrunk by 2,784 claimants to 143,360.
And the number of people working in December grew by approximately 7,240, bringing the total number to record high of 2,058,657, as stated in the news release.
The labor force is growing, too. In December 4,459 people joined the labor force, bringing the labor force to a record-breaking 2,202,017.
“We have a record high number of South Carolinians working, a record high labor force and record high number of jobs in the Palmetto State. Now we need to focus on Succeed South Carolina, Governor Haley’s recently-announced initiative that will prepare South Carolina workers for high-demand jobs and match jobseekers with the more than 60,000 currently open jobs,” said agency Director Cheryl Stanton in a statement.
Gov. Nikki Haley announced a plan, dubbed SUCCEED, for the state to fund worker training and put more people to work. Under the plan, once workers found a job they trained for, they would reimburse the state.
“While we are happy to see unemployment numbers coming down, we are going to continue focusing on those out of work. Our new workforce training initiatives are going to expand opportunity in every part of South Carolina and keep our state on the move,” said Haley in a separate statement.
December marked the second month in a row of simultaneous improvement in both labor force participation and in employment. November’s unemployment rate of 6.7 percent was unchanged from the previous month.