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Greenville Business Magazine

Unemployment up for 6 SC metros for June, average wage drops

Aug 01, 2018 01:55PM ● By Chris Haire

Credit: S.C. Commerce Department

The number of new non-farm jobs in the Palmetto State rose in June, but the unemployment rate increased in the state's six major metropolitan areas, according to the latest South Carolina Commerce Department Economic Outlook.

From May to June, the state added 8,200 jobs -- a 0.4 percent increase from the prior month -- but it also lost 3,900 government jobs, 3,700 professional and business services jobs, 1,500 construction jobs, 1,100 educational and health services jobs, and 100 information jobs. 

The unemployment rate, however, fell across the state from 4.0 to 3.8. Unfortunately, the labor participation rate dropped by 0.02 percent.

In Greenville unemployment climbed from 2.6 to 3.3; Columbia, from 2.8 to 3.5; Charleston, 2.4 to 3.1; Florence, 3.2 to 4; Myrtle Beach, 3.6 to 4.1; and Spartanburg, 2.5 to 3.5.

Across the state, average hourly wages continue to drop from a high of $24 in January to $23.52 in June. In Greenville the wage has fallen from nearly $24 in January to $23 in June. For Columbia, it's fallen from around $24.50 to $23.54; and Charleston, nearly $27 to $26.04.

The median price of homes rose across the state, from $197,000 to $210,000 with Greenville hitting $212,000, Columbia $175,000, Charleston $264,000, Florence $138,000, Myrtle Beach $188,000, and Spartanburg $173,000.

Building permits were a mixed bag for the six metros. While it skyrocketed in Greenville (up from around 500 to above 700) and incrementally rose in Charleston and Florence, it fell in Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia.