South Carolina’s unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month in August, according to data released Friday by the S.C. Employment Security Commission.
South Carolina’s unemployment rate – the nation’s sixth-highest – dropped from 11.7% in July to 11.5% last month, although the reduction appears to be tied to the fact that large numbers of South Carolinians have simply given up their search for a job. The figure also remains nearly two points above the national rate of 9.7%, which increased by three-tenths of a percent last month.
Back in February, economists predicted the Palmetto State’s unemployment rate could reach as high as 14% in 2009.
South Carolina faces a potential billion dollar debt tied to its unemployment benefits, as the state has already borrowed hundreds of millions fo dollars. Also, some are questioning whether or not the Employment Security Commission is doing everything it can do to place employees in available jobs.
The state’s manufacturing sector, in particular, has been hardest hit by the current recession. Specifically, South Carolina has shed nearly 30,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year.