Tourism hiring pushes unemployment rate down

A person looks for work at a job placement center.
A person looks for work at a job placement center. AP

A surge in hiring for the summer tourism season statewide likely was the major reason more than 5,000 more Horry County residents had jobs in April than in March, according to statistics released Wednesday morning by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The surge helped push the county’s unemployment rate to 6.9 percent for the month, 0.8 points below the March rate but 0.9 points higher than April 2014.

Georgetown County saw a 7.7 percent jobless rate in April, down 0.6 points from a month earlier.

The statewide rate was 6.7 percent in April, but it is seasonally adjusted to even out statistical bumps such as with the summer tourism hire.

The national rate was 5.4 percent in April.

DEW reported that the leisure and hospitality industry gained 8,400 jobs statewide during the month, a substantial number but fewer jobs than were added in the trade, transportation and utilities sector -- up 12,000 jobs in April -- and professional services, where more than 13,000 new jobs were counted.

In Horry County, more than 4,000 people joined the workforce in April, meaning they had jobs or were looking for work, according to DEW.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765 or on Twitter @TSN_SteveJones.

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