The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate experienced a significant drop, from a revised estimate of 10.9 percent in September to 10.5 percent in October.
Fewer job-seekers during the month coupled with stronger employment growth led to the first September to October decline in the rate in five years, according to a Tuesday release from the state Department of Employment and Workforce.
Workforce training was also cited.
A gain of 10,066 from September to October brought the total number of employed South Carolinians to 1,941,778. The number of unemployed people declined over the month by 9,611, making the total unemployed count fall to 227,719.
This news comes on the heels of recent announcements of S.C. employers expanding and hiring. In the Charleston area, Cummins announced it would immediately hire 31 employees, and Streit USA Armoring announced it would hire 50 new employees in November. In the Upstate and Midlands, TD Bank announced 1,800 jobs this month.
The national unemployment rate has also dropped slightly from 9.1 percent to 9.0 percent.
Both Streit and Cummins said workforce training was vital to their expansion, something Gov. Nikki Haley focused on during an Industry Appreciation luncheon in September.
According to the Department of Employment and Workforce, a $20 million federal grant for retraining the unemployed in emerging industries has been a part of the state's effort to drive down unemployment.
"I am confident that with this training we can expect to see a continued decrease in our state’s unemployment rate," Executive Director Abraham Turner said.