South Carolina Employment Situation December 2019

by Kristin Coulter | Jan 24, 2020

For Immediate Release

January 24, 2020

                                   South Carolina’s Employment Situation     

December 2019

Employment Grows to a New Record

Unemployment Continues Decline

I. Household Survey1

Employment: The monthly survey of households across the state estimated the number of South Carolinians working moved higher, establishing a new record of 2,329,639.

  • That is a sizeable increase of 4,964 people over November 2019.
  • That is also a significant increase of 74,712 people over December 2018.

Unemployment: Unemployment estimates decreased to 55,295 people.

  • That is a decrease of 2,735 people since November 2019 and a decrease of 19,949 over December 2018.
  • With that decrease, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved lower over the month, from 2.4 percent in November to a historic low of 2.3 percent in December.
  • Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged from November’s estimate of 3.5 percent.

Labor force: The state’s estimated labor force (people working plus unemployed people looking for work) increased to 2,384,934.

  • That is an increase of 2,229 people since November 2019.
  • That is an increase of 54,763 individuals over December 2018.


II. Current Employment Survey2

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted3)

In December 2019, the Current Employment Survey of businesses in South Carolina marked an increase of +1,500 nonfarm payroll jobs over the month to a record high level of 2,193,700.

  • Industries reporting the most significant increase in employment was Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+2,400). Additional increases were Construction (+800); Government (+700); and Leisure and Hospitality (+600). There was no change in the Information and Financial Activities industries.
  • Decreases were noticed in Professional and Business Services (-1,000); Other Services (-800); Manufacturing (-600); and Education and Health Services (-600).


    From December 2018 to December 2019, South Carolina’s economy has added 27,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

  • Industries with strong growth were Government (+6,100); Leisure and Hospitality (+6,000); Manufacturing (+5,400); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,200); Education and Health Services (+3,800); Construction (+3,500); Other Services (+1,700); and Financial Activities (+900).
  • Decreases were seen in the Professional and Business Services (-4,500); and Information (-1,100) industries.

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment declined slightly by 500 from November 2019 to December 2019 for a total of 2,203,200.

  • The most prominent gains were seen in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,400). Other industries that saw increases were Construction (+1,300) and Information (+200). Government and Mining remain steady.
  • Industries reporting declines were Leisure and Hospitality (-2,300); Professional and Business Services (-2,200); Education and Health Services (-1,300); Other Services (-900); Manufacturing (-500); and Financial Activities (-200).


    Since December 2018, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 30,100, overall, in South Carolina.

  • Industries marking strong annual gains were Leisure and Hospitality (+6,600); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; (+6,500); Government (+6,300); Manufacturing (+5,200); Construction (+3,800); Education and Health Services (+3,500); Other Services (+1,100); Financial Activities (+800); and Mining and Logging (+200).
  • Industries reporting an over the year decline were Professional and Business Services (-2,900) and Information (-1,000).

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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