S.C. wages hit all-time high as 2-state job market stays strong

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Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 12:48 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - Employment numbers remain strong in the two-state region, according to the latest statistics.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, state officials said Monday that the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2% in January from December’s rate of 3.3%, continuing the steady trend of low unemployment from 2022.

Average hourly wages are up to a record high of $29.15.

“What a strong way to start the 2023 year,” said South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce Acting Executive Director William Floyd.

A report released Monday for January 2023 showed the number of workers in South Carolina increased to 2,298,720. The increase is 4,329 people over the December 2022 estimate and 10,471 people over the January 2022 estimate.

The number of unemployed people in the data decreased to 76,070. It is a decrease of 1,089 people from the December estimate and 2,352 from the January 2022 estimate.


Meanwhile in Georgia, the state’s overall job market stayed strong in January, with the unemployment rate staying level from December at 3.1%

The number of workers on employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — rose by 17,000 from December to 4.87 million. That’s 160,000 above payroll levels last January.

January’s unemployment numbers always bring a revision of the previous year’s figures, and the new figures show Georgia’s jobless rate has been steady at 3.1% for six months. Joblessness is also level with the rate of January 2022, after dipping to an all-time low of 2.9% in April and May.

Numbers last year had shown a meaningful decline in the labor force, but new figures show the labor force has been flat since April. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work was flat at 161,000.

About 5,200 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended March 4.

The overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 28,000 in the week that ended Feb. 25.