South Carolina's employment situation for May 2017

by Kristin Coulter | May 18, 2018

For Immediate Release

  South Carolina’s Employment Situation    

May 2017

Unemployment rate decrease continues,

number of unemployed drops below 100,000

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May fell to its lowest rate since December 2000. The rate dropped to 4.1 percent in May from 4.3 percent in April.

The number of unemployed dropped by 4,932 to 96,526, the lowest level since April 2001, while the number of individuals working across the state showed little change, sliding down by 513 to 2,232,168. The state’s labor force decreased by 5,445 to 2,328,694 people in May.

Since May 2016, employment grew by 51,642, the labor force increased by 31,655 people, and the level of unemployed decreased 19,987.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined from 4.4 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May.

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted1)

In May 2017, seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payrolls increased by 7,600 over the month to a record high level of 2,080,900.

  • Job gains were reported in Professional and Business Services (+2,800); Leisure and Hospitality (+2,300); Construction (+1,800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,100); Education and Health Services (+1,100); and Other Services (+100).
  • Industries reporting decreases were Financial Activities (-800); Manufacturing (-400); Government (-400); and Information (-100).

Compared to May 2016, seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs were up 32,700.

  • Industry increases were registered in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+9,400); Manufacturing (+7,400); Education and Health Services (+4,800); Construction (+4,400); Government (+2,900); Professional and Business Services (+2,800); and Leisure and Hospitality (+2,600).
  • Decreases were reported in Information (-1,200); Other Services (-500); and Financial Activities (-100).

Nonfarm Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 18,000 from April 2017 to May 2017 for a total of 2,098,000. 

  • Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality each gained (+6,400). Growth also occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+3,700); Construction (+1,900); Other Services (+500); and Mining and Logging (+100). Education and Health Services remained steady.
  • Financial Activities (-400); Government (-400); Manufacturing (-100); and Information (-100) all saw losses during May.


    Over-the-year, not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs were up 30,500 overall in South Carolina.

  • Industries marking gains were Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+8,400); Manufacturing (+7,500); Construction (+4,800); Education and Health Services (+4,700); Professional and Business Services (+4,300); Government (+2,600) Leisure and Hospitality (+400); and Mining and Logging (+200).
  • Decreases were reported in the Information (-1,200); Financial Activities (-600); and Other Services (-600) sectors.

1Seasonally 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.


2Not Seasonally Adjusted: Effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed from these data.


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