South Carolina’s unemployment rate slid from 8.6 percent in February to 8.4 percent in March, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) – but this decline was accompanied by another drop in the state’s record-low labor participation rate.
SCDEW officials did not disclose the state’s current labor participation rate, they merely announced that it had experienced a “minor decline” from February to March. In February this key indicator – which measures the number of working age persons who are either employed or looking for a job – hit a record low of 58.6 percent.
As recently as June of 2011, that number was at 60.9 percent.
Nationally, the labor participation rate stands at 63.3 percent – its lowest level in thirty-four years.