South Carolina's Employment Situation September 2019

by Kristin Coulter | Oct 18, 2019

For Immediate Release

October 18, 2019

                                   South Carolina’s Employment Situation     

September 2019

Number of South Carolinians Working Sets Another Record

Unemployment Rate at Historic Low


I. Household Survey1

Employment: The monthly survey of households across the state estimated the number of South Carolinians working moved substantially higher, establishing a new record of 2,311,479.

  • That is an increase of 6,573 people over August 2019.
  • That is also a significant increase of 60,432 people over September 2018.

Unemployment: Unemployment estimates decreased to 69,179 people.

  • That is a decrease of 8,130 people since August 2019 and a decrease of 5,900 over September 2018.
  • With that decrease, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved lower over the month, from 3.2 percent in August to an historic low of 2.9 percent in September.
  • Nationally, the unemployment rate declined from 3.7 percent in August to 3.5 percent in September.

Labor force: The state’s estimated labor force (people working plus unemployed people looking for work) decreased modestly to 2,380,658.

  • That decrease pauses an upward trend for the previous eight consecutive months.
  • That is a decrease of 1,557 people since August 2019.
  • That is an increase of 54,532 individuals over September 2018.

II. Current Employment Survey2

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted3)

The Current Employment Survey of businesses in South Carolina marked a decrease of 800 nonfarm payroll jobs over the month to a level of 2,179,300.

  • Industries reporting increases in employment were Professional and Business Services (+1,400) and Manufacturing (+800). Financial Activities and Government both had increases of (+100).
  • Industries reporting decreases were Leisure and Hospitality (-1,700); Education and Health Services (-800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-400); Construction (-200); and Other Services (-100). Information showed no movement.

From September 2018 to September 2019, South Carolina’s economy has added 43,400 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

  • Industries with strong growth were Leisure and Hospitality (+15,600); Manufacturing (+8,700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+7,700); Government (+5,300); Education and Health Services (+2,800); Professional and Business Services (+2,800); Other Services (+700); and Construction (+300).
  • Decreases were seen in Information (-700) and Financial Activities (-100).

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 5,600 from August 2019 to September 2019 for a total of 2,175,200. Although September’s overall total employment declined, gains were reported in some industries. The most prominent gain was in the Government (+11,100) industry as schools began the fall term.

  • Other industries that saw an increase were Manufacturing (+1,300) and Education and Health Services (+1,200).
  • Industries reporting declines were Leisure and Hospitality (-12,800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-2,300); Construction (-1,600); Financial Activities (-1,200); Other Services (-600); Information (-500); and Professional and Business Services (-200). Mining and Logging remained flat.


    Since September 2018, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 43,300 overall in South Carolina.

  • Industries marking strong annual gains were Leisure and Hospitality (+14,000); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+8,900); Manufacturing (+8,300); Government (+6,100); Education and Health Services (+3,700); Professional and Business Services (+1,700); Other Services (+1,000); Mining and Logging (+300); and Financial Activities (+200).
  • Industries reporting an over the year decline were Information (-700) and Construction (-200).

1Household Survey (Current Population Survey): is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This survey provides monthly statistics on employment, unemployment, and related subjects analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


2Current Employment Statistics Survey: is a monthly survey of about 40,000 employers which yields estimates of nonagricultural wage and salary employment, hours, and earnings by industry.


3Seasonally Adjusted: Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year (i.e. tourist-related hiring and school closings in the summer). These adjustments make it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in data over time.


4Not Seasonally Adjusted: Effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed from these data.






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