Anderson County unemployment lowest in years
Joe Toppe Staff Writer
ANDERSON COUNTY – Finding a job in Anderson County hasn’t been this easy in more than five years.
According to a report released by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, the unemployment rate in Anderson County is currently at 6.5 percent after rising to a high of 13.6 percent in February of 2010.
“The county unemployment rate is at its lowest since stopping at 6.6 percent in 2008,” said County Councilman, Ken Waters. “One of the things important to myself and the economic development is just getting more jobs here, and as long as each person has a job, that is one less person having to look for one.”
According to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Report, 78,479 Anderson County residents were employed as of October of this year which was the highest employment number measured since December of 2008 when employment was measured at 78,502 residents.
The report also revealed 5,499 county residents were unemployed in October of this year which was the lowest number of unemployed residents since May of 2008 when 4,905 residents were reported as being unemployed. The number of unemployed persons peaked at 11,578 in February of 2010.
“We have come a long way since the darkest days of the Great Recession, but much work remains to be done”, said Francis M. Crowder Sr., Anderson County Council Chairman. “For now I am thankful that so many of our residents have found rewarding employment opportunities since those worst days when hope seemed to be lost for so many families. These numbers seem to indicate that our economic development strategies are yielding the results we hoped for, and I am committed to doing all I can to continue to build upon the success we’ve seen so far.”
In another report issued by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce on current employment statistics, businesses located in Anderson County employed a total of 62,300 persons as of October of this year.
The report shows manufacturing companies in Anderson County employ 12,200 people, and employment by production workers in all Goods-Producing industries, which includes manufacturing, mining, and construction, has increased by 1,600 since 2009 and now stands at 15,500. Private sector industry establishments in Anderson County employ a total of 50,500 people which is an increase of 3,900 jobs since 2009.
Waters said every job is important to Anderson County officials.
“Every job is important to us,” he said. “These reports are great news and I am very pleased with this. It was one of the things I wanted to work on and make happen in Anderson County.”
According to Waters, county officials working together made this improvement possible.
“I think working together has made this possible,” Waters said. “We’ve got some great leaders in our economic development department and the county as a whole. It is everyone doing their jobs that make this county a very attractive place to come to. We are well-located; we are three hours from the beach and one hour from the mountains. It is a good place for business.”
Waters said he would like to see unemployment in Anderson County disappear.
“My goal is zero percent unemployment,” he said. “I want to make every job that comes into Anderson County important and that is what we have all done. We have good administration and we are growing and on the move. Sometimes it is hard to see what is going on behind the scenes, but when these reports come out, we can see the fruits of our labor.”
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