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What latest jobless numbers tell us about the two-state economy

(WVLT)
Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 8:58 AM EST
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Recent statistics released by Georgia and South Carolina offer a glimpse into how the two-state region is faring economically. Here’s what we know:

Georgia

Workers are returning to the labor force in Georgia more rapidly than employers are adding jobs, driving up the state’s unemployment rate.

The state Department of Labor says Georgia’s jobless rate rose to 5.7% in November from 4.5% in September.

Georgia’s labor force rose by 80,000 to an all-time high of nearly 5.2 million in November. But the number of people reporting actually having a job rose by much less.

That pushed the number of unemployed Georgians above 296,000. A separate survey of employer payrolls also shows a slowing employment rebound.

Georgia businesses hired 20,000 more people in November. It was the smallest gain since payrolls began rising again.

Employer payrolls remain about 137,000 jobs below February’s record mark.

South Carolina

South Carolina reported fewer first-time unemployment claims last week than the week before, but that new total is still higher than the low set two weeks ago.

For the week ending Saturday, South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce reported a total of 3,723 initial unemployment insurance claims.

The state paid out $36.1 million in a combination of federal and state unemployment benefits last week, according to agency spokesperson Heather Biance.

Horry County had the highest number of claims at 434, followed by Greenville County’s 359 and Richland County’s 304. Spartanburg County had the fourth-highest claim total at 214.

Since mid-March, South Carolina has paid out a total of $4.7 billion in state and federal benefits.

From reports by WCSC and The Associated Press