State’s unemployment rate at record low

South Carolina’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in May. That is the lowest rate the state has had since December 2000, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. The state’s rate was 4.3 percent in April.

Richland County’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in May, rising from 3.5 percent in April. Lexington County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.1 percent in May from 3 percent in April.

A year ago, in the same month, Lexington County’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. A year ago Richland County’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.
Charleston County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent, followed by Lexington County. Richland County had the state’s 14th lowest unemployment rate, of 46 counties.

The Columbia metro area recorded an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, up from 3.4 percent in April.

The drop in the jobless rate prompted a comment from the governor.

“With the state’s unemployment rate at a near-17-year low, it’s as important as ever that we continue to broaden the scope of our workforce development initiatives and ensure that South Carolinians are trained and ready when they enter the labor force,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “The fact that companies around the world know our workforce is one of the best is a major factor in our future prosperity, and we must continue to build on that successful reputation.”

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