FAIRFIELD COUNTY — The outlook for job seekers in Fairfield County was not so rosy in December. Though part of the increase in unemployment numbers could be attributed to layoffs from the Shaw Group at its construction project, other factors came into play as well.
According to the Department of Employment and Workforce, the numbers still showed improvement statewide from December 2011.
The December 10.7 percent unemployment rate up from a 10.2 percent rate in November 2012. The December figure is down from a 12.3 percent rate in December 2011. Those trends were mirrored statewide where the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.4 percent in December from 8.3 percent in November. The rate was 1.2 percent lower than the December 2011 rate of 9.6 percent. Over the month, the number of employed improved by 5,325 to 1,969,560. The number of unemployed grew since November by 3,211 to 180,032 in December, and the labor force expanded by 8,536 to 2,149,592.
In December 2012 counties contiguous to Fairfield had the following unemployment rates:
Chester 13.1 percent
Lancaster at 11.6 percent
Kershaw at 8.1 percent
Richland at 8 percent
Union at 13.4 percent
Newberry at 7.9 percent
Nationally, the unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent, with roughly 28,000 more Americans working and 164,000 additional people searching for work. South Carolina’s non-agricultural employment (not seasonally adjusted) fell 5,800 from November to December 2012, reaching 1,874,300. This was the first decline since July 2012. Since a year ago, non-farm jobs were up 31,500 or 1.7 percentage points, compared to a national increase of 1.4 percentage points.
DEW said that Trade Transportation and Utilities, Education and Health Services, and Construction saw increases as did information services and financial activities. Retail trade demand remained high, and health care needs continued in a positive direction during the month.
Leisure and Hospitality fell 5,900 due to a drop in demand for arts, entertainment, and recreation, as well as accommodation and food services. Local government services and employment services demand was also down during the month causing a drop of 2,300 in Government and 1,700 in Professional and Business Services.