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Gov. Haley Remains Determined as Unemployment Rises

S.C. unemployment rose again in August, Haley remains determined to change the trend

The unemployment rate in South Carolina rose for the fourth straight month as the national rate held steady at 9.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for South Carolina rose slightly again from 10.9 in July to 11.1 percent in August, according to  figures released Friday by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The state’s labor force increased for the fourth consecutive month with the total labor force level estimated at 2,163,803. In August there were 1,924,633 employed individuals in the state, down slightly from July.

Overall, the state's non-farm payroll employment dipped by 1,700 in August.

"We're working everyday to bring this number down," Gov. Nikki Haley said. "We're filling the jobs funnel with announcement after announcement, we’re committed to  improving our business climate, and  we’re focused on training our unemployed to get them in good, skilled, stable jobs."

Manufacturing continued to show growth for the seventh consecutive month in August with 800 jobs added. The manufacturing sector is up 11,000 from this time last year. South Carolina is leading the way for the Southeast in manufacturing job growth, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

Unemployment numbers in the Greenville metro area saw a slight decrease from 9.5 to 9.4 percent in August. Florence dropped from 12.1 to 11.9. Columbia decreased slightly from 9.9 to 9.8. Charleston increased from 9.5 to 9.6.

"We are aware through jobs announcements that businesses are coming to the state; therefore, I have made job training my top priority to ensure South Carolina has a skilled and well-trained workforce to offer those businesses," said SC Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Abraham Turner.

This week the state announced two new manufacturers with plans to create new jobs in the near future. JR Automation Technologies plans to bring 54 new jobs to Pickens County and Tighitco is planning a new Charleston facility that will bring 350 new jobs.

Today, Haley reaffirmed her commitment to job creation while visiting Florence where the Otis Elevator Company announced a new facility that will bring another 360 new jobs to the state.

Several other major S.C. industry sectors saw signs of encouraging growth in August. Professional and Business Services (+1,200), Education and Health Services (+500), and Government (+1,400). Growth in these industry sectors helped minimize this month’s decline in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Leisure and Hospitality.

"Although the state's unemployment rate rose in August, South Carolinians should not be discouraged as we have seen the initial claims for unemployment and the duration of benefits paid decrease," Turner said.

Gov. Nikki Haley remains optimistic and determined that the state's unemployment rate will decrease despite several months on the rise.

"We won't stop until South Carolina is working again," Haley said.

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