Jobless rate rises across South Carolina

First Byline: 
Laura J. McKenzie - Regional Publisher

Barnwell County joined every other county in the state to see an increase in the unemployment rate during July.
In recently released figures from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, the jobless rate in Barnwell County jumped from 8.9 percent in June to 9.9 percent in July. It is still below the 12.9 percent from July 2013.
The available labor force in the county increased from 8,255 in June to 8,274 in July. Those who were jobless also rose from 737 in June to 815 in July.
Last year in July there were 200 more people - 8,423 total - available in the county workforce and 1,086 of those were without jobs. The figures show that there are actually 122 more people working this year than last year at this time.
In July, South Carolina's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent from 5.3 percent in June, marking a shift upward after little change during the second quarter of the year. The number of unemployed persons grew by 9,124 to 124,670. Working South Carolinians dropped by 6,442 people to 2,043,602. From June to July, the labor force noted an increase of 2,682 to a level of 2,168,272.
Since July 2013, about 28,740 people have found work, and the labor force decreased by 15,142.
Additionally, over the year, the state's unemployment rate has declined by approximately 2 percentage points.
Nationally, the unemployment rate increased to 6.2 percent in July from 6.1 percent in June.
Bamberg County had the highest jobless rate of 12.1 percent in July. Saluda and Lexington counties were tied with the lowest jobless rate of 5.1 percent.
Barnwell County is listed as the fifth highest county in unemployment percentage rankings, which is actually a drop from fourth place in June. Bamberg, Orangeburg, Allendale and Marion counties ranked first through fourth.