According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the SC Department of Employment & Workforce, 1,700 jobs were created in the Palmetto State in the month of April, 2017. The leisure and hospitality sector showed the most robust growth, while professional and business services shed 1,400 jobs. Currently South Carolina’s unemployment rate stands at 4.3%
Another bit of good news for the Palmetto State is a slight increase in labor force participation. Though minimal, that increase marks the fourth consecutive month that the number of persons in the state’s labor force ticked upward – this even as the total US labor force remained stagnant at 62.9%.
Is this data encouraging?
The statistics for April, 2017 provide a mixed message. A lower unemployment rate is a welcome development, especially when it comes due to real jobs being created. In other states such as Illinois, the unemployment rate is dropping almost solely at the expense of labor force participation. In this sense, South Carolina’s numbers are positive.
On the other hand, as Palmetto Promise’s previous research shows, the labor force participation rate has still not returned to pre-recession levels, so there is room for growth in the SC economy.