South Carolina's Employment Situation May 2019

by Emily Fitzpatrick | Jun 26, 2019

For Immediate Release

June 21, 2019

South Carolina’s Employment Situation 
May 2019

Number of South Carolinians Working Remains at All Time High

Payroll Employment Increases Set Another New Record


Employment: The monthly survey of households across the state estimated the number of South Carolinians working moved significantly higher, establishing a new record of 2,286,079.

  • That is an increase of 5,253 people since April.
  • That is also an increase of 47,435 people since May 2018.

Unemployment: Unemployment estimates from the household survey increased over the month to 82,645 people.

  • That is an increase of 3,550 people since April.
  • With that increase, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved upward to 3.5 percent (from April’s 3.4 percent) as more people looked for work.
  • Additionally, the level of unemployment moved higher by approximately 3,299 people over May 2018.
  • Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent from April’s estimate.

Labor force: The state’s estimated labor force (people working plus unemployed people who are looking for work) increased to 2,368,724 people.

  • That increase continues an upward trend for the fifth consecutive month.
  • That is an increase of 8,803 people since April.
  • That is an increase of 50,734 individuals over May of 2018.

Nonagricultural Payroll Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted1)

The Current Employment Survey of businesses in South Carolina marked an increase of 1,100 nonfarm payrolls jobs over the month to a record high level of 2,179,300.

  • Industries reporting increases in employment were reported in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,300); Manufacturing (+800); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+400); Financial Activities (+400); Construction (+300); Education and Health Services (+200); and Government (+200). Information remained steady.
  • Decreases were noticed in the Professional and Business Services (-2,300) and Other Services (-200) industries.

From May 2018 to May 2019, South Carolina’s economy has added 40,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

  • Industries marking strong growth were Leisure and Hospitality (+12,000); Manufacturing (+8,900); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+8,100); Education and Health Services (+7,300); Government (+5,100); Financial Activities (+1,400); Professional and Business Services (+1,100); and Other Services (+500).
  • Decreases were seen in Construction (-3,100) and Information (-400).

Nonagricultural Payroll Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

Not seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 9,700 from April 2019 to May 2019, for a total of 2,189,600. Growth was concentrated in the service providing industries. The most prominent gain was in Leisure and Hospitality (+6,700).

  • Industries that saw steady movement were Financial Activities (+1,800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+1,300); Construction (+1,200); Manufacturing (+900); and Information (+100). Meanwhile, Mining and Logging industry remained flat.
  • Industries reporting declines were Education and Health Services (-900); Government (-800); Other Services (-500); and Professional and Business Services (-100).

Since May 2018, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 33,400 overall in South Carolina.

  • Industries marking strong annual gains were Leisure and Hospitality (+11,900); Manufacturing (+9,100); Education and Health Services (+6,600); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,800); Government (+4,800); and Financial Activities (+1,300). Mining and Logging remained the same.
  • Industries reporting declines were Construction (-3,100); Professional and Business Services (-2,300); Information (-600); and Other Services (-100).



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