Unemployment rate rises, but so does actual hires

First Byline: 
Laura McKenzie - Publsiher

For the second month in a row, both the number of people hired and the unemployment rate has risen in Barnwell County.
How can that happen? It's a quirk of math.
From May to June, the labor force has grown from 8,137 to 8,269 people. In that same time period, the number of people with jobs has grown from 7,465 to 7,528 people. That means 63 more people had jobs in June than were employed in May.
Out of those available for work in May, there were 672 who still didn't have jobs. In June, there are 741 people who want to work but don't have jobs.
The fact is the pool of people available to work grew larger but the number of people actually with jobs wasn't large enough to keep pace with the workforce growth rate.
The result is that Barnwell County's unemployment rate rose from 8.3 percent to 9 percent between May and June.
Barnwell County's numbers compared to June of last year shows a drop in the jobless rate from 13.2 percent to 9 percent. In that case, the number of people in the available workforce dropped from 8,470 to 8,269. The number of people without jobs also dropped from 1,118 last year to 741 this year.
Statewide, the unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.3 percent from May to June. It dropped from 7.8 to 5.3 percent from June 2013.
Allendale and Marion counties had the highest unemployment rate statewide, tying at 10.1 percent. Lexington and Greenville counties shared the lowest jobless rate of 4.8 percent.