South Carolina Unemployment Rates Rise to Record Levels

Staff Report

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

I. Household Survey1

Employment: The seasonally adjusted monthly survey of households estimated the number of South Carolinians working fell to 2,089,889.

  • That is a significant decrease of 238,913 people over March 2020.

  • That is also a significant decrease of 203,982 people over April 2019.

    Unemployment: Unemployment estimates increased to 288,022 people.

  • That is a significant increase of 211,653 people since March 2020 and a significant increase of 210,351 over April 2019. This is the largest over-the-month increase as well as the highest level on record for the state.

  • The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to a record 12.1 percent in April from March’s revised rate of 3.2 percent. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the data series going back to 1976.

    Nationally, the unemployment rate soared higher from 4.4 percent in March to 14.7 percent in April, thus reflecting the continued effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the household survey data. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series dating back to January 1948.

    Labor force: The state’s estimated labor force (people working plus unemployed people looking for work) decreased to 2,377,911.

  • That is a decrease of 27,260 people since March 2020.

  • That is an increase of 6,369 individuals over April 2019.

    II. Current Employment Survey2

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted3)

The Current Employment Survey of businesses in South Carolina marked a decrease of 272,700 nonfarm payroll jobs over the month to a level of 1,925,000.

  • No industries reported gains.

  • Decreases were noticed in the Leisure and Hospitality (-125,300); Professional and Business

    Services (-40,700); Education and Health Services (-28,900); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-27,900); Government (-16,300); Manufacturing (-12,900); Other Services (-9,200); Construction (-6,100); Financial Activities (-4,900); and Information (-400) industry.

    From April 2019 to April 2020, South Carolina’s economy has lost 254,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

  • No industries reported gains over the year.

  • Decreases were reported in Leisure and Hospitality (-126,500); Professional and Business

    Services (-34,000); Education and Health Services (-27,700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-25,600); Manufacturing (-12,600); Other Services (-9,200); Government (-9,100); Financial Activities (-5,700); Construction (-3,600); and Information (-500).

    Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)

    Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 256,600 from March 2020 to April 2020 for a total of 1,933,400.

  • No industries showed growth during this period.

  • Industries reporting declines were Leisure and Hospitality (-116,900); Professional and Business

    Services (-36,100); Education and Health Services (-29,900); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-26,200); Government (-15,400); Manufacturing (-13,200); Other Services (-8,700); Construction (-4,900); Financial Activities (-4,500); Information (-700); and Mining and Logging (-100).

    Since April 2019, not seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were down 253,700 overall in South Carolina.

  • No industries has shown annual gains.

  • Industries recording an over the year loss are Leisure and Hospitality (-127,200); Professional

    and Business Services (-32,100); Education and Health Services (-27,800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-24,900); Manufacturing (-13,000); Other Services (-9,200); Government (-9,000); Financial Activities (-6,300); Construction (-3,300); Information (-800); and Mining and Logging (-100).

1Household Survey (Current Population Survey): is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This survey provides monthly statistics on employment, unemployment, and related subjects analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2Current Employment Statistics Survey: is a monthly survey of about 40,000 employers which yields estimates of nonagricultural wage and salary employment, hours, and earnings by industry.

3Seasonally 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.

4Not Seasonally Adjusted: Effects of regular or seasonal patterns have not been removed from these data.

NONFARM EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

Statewide

April

2,197,700

109,000 258,400 408,700

27,500 103,400 303,800 258,300 267,700

78,900 377,600

March 2020 to April 2020

April 2019 to April 2020

#% Change Change

#% Change Change

-272,700 -14.17%

-6,100 -5.93% -12,900 -5.25% -27,900 -7.33%

-400 -1.48% -4,900 -4.97% -40,700 -15.47% -28,900 -12.60% -125,300 -87.99% -9,200 -13.20% -16,300 -4.51%

-254,600 -11.68%

-3,600 -3.38% -12,600 -4.88% -25,600 -6.30%

-500 -1.81% -5,700 -5.47% -34,000 -11.44% -27,700 -10.77% -126,500 -47.04% -9,200 -11.66% -9,100 -2.46%

Industry

Total Nonfarm Employment

Construction
Manufacturing
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information
Financial Activities
Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality
Other Services
Government

April 2020

1,925,000

102,900 245,500 380,800

27,100

98,500 263,100 229,400 142,400

69,700 361,300

March 2020

April 2019

2,179,600

106,500 258,100 406,400

27,600 104,200 297,100 257,100 268,900

78,900 370,400

NONFARM EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY, NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

Statewide

April

2,190,000

4,400 108,000 258,400 405,300 27,600 102,200 301,400 259,800 263,300 78,800 380,800

March 2020 to April 2020

April 2019 to April 2020

#% Change Change

#% Change Change

-256,600 -11.72%

-100 -2.27% -4,900 -4.54% -13,200 -5.11% -26,200 -6.46% -700 -2.54% -4,500 -4.40% -36,100 -11.98% -29,900 -11.51% -116,900 -44.40% -8,700 -11.04% -15,400 -4.04%

-253,700 -11.60%

-100 -2.27% -3,300 -3.10% -13,000 -5.03% -24,900 -6.16% -800 -2.89% -6,300 -6.06% -32,100 -10.79% -27,800 -10.79% -127,200 -46.49% -9,200 -11.60% -9,000 -2.40%

Industry

Total Nonfarm

Mining and Logging
Construction
Manufacturing
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information

Financial Activities
Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality
Other Services
Government

April

2020

1,933,400

4,300 103,100 245,200 379,100 26,900 97,700 265,300 229,900 146,400 70,100 365,400

March 2020

April

2019

2,187,100

4,400 106,400 258,200 404,000 27,700 104,000 297,400 257,700 273,600 79,300 374,400

April

April March Are a 2020 2020

April

2019

2,179,600

373,500 402,600 92,300 431,900 83,600 173,500 163,100 39,800

NONFARM EMPLOYMENT BY AREA, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

South Carolina & Metropolitan Seasonally Adjusted

March 2020 to April 2020

April 2019 to April 2020

#% Change Change

#% Change Change

-272,700 -14.17%

-43,800 -13.32% -42,500 -11.68% -9,300 -11.27% -43,700 -11.26% -12,800 -17.46% -44,000 -33.26% -17,600 -12.02% -3,100 -8.40%

-254,600 -11.68%

-44,700 -11.97% -38,600 -9.59% -9,800 -10.62% -43,900 -10.16% -10,300 -12.32% -41,200 -23.75% -16,700 -10.24% -2,900 -7.29%

Statewide 1,925,000

2,197,700

372,600 406,500 91,800 431,700 86,100 176,300 164,000 40,000

Charleston/North Charleston MSA Columbia MSA
Florence MSA Greenville/Anderson/Mauldin MSA Hilton Head-Bluffton-Beaufort MSA Myrtle Beach MSA

Spartanburg MSA Sumter MSA

328,800 364,000 82,500 388,000 73,300 132,300 146,400 36,900

Note: Employment estimates have been rounded to the nearest hundred. Sum of detail may not equal totals due to rounding or the exclusion of certain industries from publication. All data are subject to revision.

NONFARM EMPLOYMENT BY AREA, NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

South Carolina & Metropolitan Not Seasonally Adjusted April

March 2020 to April 2020

April 2019 to April 2020

#% Change Change

#% Change Change

-256,600 -11.72%

-42,100 -42,600 -9,200 -42,500 -11,800 -37,800 -17,400 -2,800

-11.35% -10.49% -9.99% -9.85% -13.85% -21.84% -10.60% -7.00%

-253,700

-46,500 -39,500 -9,400 -43,500 -10,700 -41,000 -16,600 -2,900

-11.60%

-12.39% -9.80% -10.18% -10.06% -12.72% -23.26% -10.16% -7.23%

April March Are a 2020 2020

April

2019

2,187,100

375,200 403,000 92,300 432,500 84,100 176,300 163,400 40,100

Statewide 1,933,400

2,190,000

370,800 406,100 92,100 431,500 85,200 173,100 164,200 40,000

Charleston/North Charleston MSA Columbia MSA
Florence MSA
Greenville MSA

Hilton Head Island/Bluffton MSA
Myrtle Beach/Conway/N. Myrtle Beach MSA Spartanburg MSA
Sumter MSA

328,700 363,500 82,900 389,000 73,400 135,300 146,800 37,200

Note: Employment estimates have been rounded to the nearest hundred. Sum of detail may not equal totals due to rounding or the exclusion of certain industries from publication. All data are subject to revision.