Employment trends improving in Barnwell, Allendale
The jobless rate in Barnwell County went up slightly in November while Allendale County’s went down a bit. But those lone statistics released recently by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) don’t tell the whole story of the employment situation locally.
Barnwell County’s jobless rate rose from 5.4 percent in October to 5.5 in November, according to the DEW. Allendale County’s rate dropped from 6.3 in October to 6.2 percent in November.
During that time period, Barnwell’s workforce – those with jobs or looking for work – rose from 8,469 people to 8,472. At the same time, the number of people employed dropped from 8,011 to 8,009.
In Allendale County, the workforce rose by 11 from 2,680 to 2,691. The number of people with jobs rose from 2,510 to 2,523 – 13 more employed.
Looking at the figures differently – employed instead of jobless – shows that 94.6 percent of Barnwell County’s workforce is employed and 93.8 percent of Allendale County’s workforce have jobs.
Over the last year the number of people in the workforce has grown both in Barnwell and Allendale Counties, as well as the number of people with jobs. Since November 2016 the workforce rose by 161 people in Barnwell and 41 in Allendale.
Over the same time period, the number of people without jobs has dropped. Allendale County recorded 197 without work in November 2016 compared to 168 in 2017. Barnwell County saw a drop from 491 to 463 since the previous year.
The statistics show that hiring is keeping pace with the growing number of people seeking jobs.
Statewide, South Carolina businesses continued to set record job levels in November with manufacturing leading the way by adding 3,800 jobs over the month, reported the DEW.
While nonfarm payrolls grew, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up to 4 percent in November from October’s rate of 3.9 percent. In the last six months, the unemployment rate has remained steady in the 3.9 percent to 4 percent range.
The number of South Carolinians working decreased over the month by 2,451 to 2,232,579 people, while the number of unemployed increased by 1,648 to 92,740. The state’s labor force in November decreased by 803 to 2,325,319 people.
Since November of 2016, the labor force has grown by 27,178 people, and employment gains totaled 34,305. The level of unemployed people decreased by 7,127.
Nationally, the unemployment rate showed no change, remaining at 4.1 percent in November, reported the DEW.
“It is exciting to see that businesses have added nearly 8,000 workers in this last month, providing opportunities for South Carolinians,” said SC DEW executive Director Cheryl Stanton. “Each time a company decides to expand or build a facility in South Carolina, they are giving the state a vote of confidence that we have a skilled workforce available to fill their positions.”
“We are working to help ensure that all citizens – whether a disabled veteran, the homeless or an ex-offender – can take advantage of these opportunities by removing any barriers to employment,” she said.