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South Carolina sees slight unemployment rate increase in November

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(The Center Square) — South Carolina’s unemployment rate increased to 3% in November, a slight uptick from October’s rate of 2.9% but below the national average.

“As we close out the year, South Carolina’s economic growth continues as the state hits another record-setting month of 2,398,350 individuals working,” South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director William Floyd said in a Friday statement. “That number is up more than 5,000 from October and is a significant increase of more than 104,000 people since November 2022.”

The national unemployment rate in November stood at 3.7%. South Carolina’s unemployment rate was better than neighboring North Carolina, which reported a rate of 3.5%, and Georgia, which reported a 3.4% rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

While the unemployment rate increased slightly, Floyd said the Palmetto State saw more people joining the labor force month-over-month, indicating that people are entering the workforce and finding jobs.

“And pay remains competitive as average hourly earnings are now at $30.48,” Floyd added. “Economic development in the state remains strong as evidenced by recent announcements in Sumter and Florence with employers who will provide hundreds of additional jobs.”

The state’s labor participation rate stood at 57% in November, down slightly from the 57.5% rate in November 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The state’s labor participation rate has steadily declined over the past 15 years, including a 64.9% rate in November 2006.

It was also below November’s national labor participation rate of 62.8%.

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