14% for the Nation

RIA approves grants for enhancing water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, including Clinton. -- More than $14.5 million in grant funding awarded across South Carolina.     COLUMBIA - The S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved grant assistance for 34 projects, totaling more than $14.5 million, including 2 in Laurens County. This money is to strengthen water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure. This brings the total funds awarded this fiscal year to $25.7 million. The Cities of Clinton and Fountain Inn will receive $500,000 each for sewer upgrades. Access to adequate water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure is key to supporting South Carolina's quality of life, as well as opening doors for economic development, an announcement said. Yet, repairs to critical infrastructure can be expensive, and local funds are often limited. Leveraging RIA grants, local revenues and other funds to address the improvements is critical in helping to close the gap between needs and resources. "The need to partner, collaborate and work together is critical to the long-term sustainability of a community. By targeting limited, public resources where they will have the greatest, long-term impact and addressing the most pressing needs to protect public health and the environment, these grants improve and strengthen the communities they serve," said Executive Director Bonnie Ammons. A majority of the projects funded by the grants include improving aging sewer collection and treatment facilities; upgrading water supply, storage and distribution systems; and mitigating neighborhood flooding by improving drainage structures. The remaining grant awards increase infrastructure capacity to support existing business and new economic opportunities. All of the projects will have a significant impact on the 44,000 residents and businesses they serve. RIA grants are awarded twice a year through a competitive process that considers the need for improved public health, environmental protection, community sustainability and economic development. Applications are selected by the RIA board based on criteria, including severity of the problem, expected impact and project feasibility. Recipients share in the cost of projects by paying for non-construction activities and, often times, providing additional funds for construction.

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT IS 12% -- Clinton will get a Half Million Dollars.




Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement

April 2020 Employment Situation


“While South Carolina’s high unemployment rate is shocking compared to the record lows we recently enjoyed, I am sure that this news isn’t a surprise to anyone. As the unemployment rate has increased dramatically to 12.1%, it is significantly less than the U.S. rate of 14.7%. This unemployment level reflects our state’s careful, planned response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April.


You will notice that the number of unemployed people estimated in this release, 288,022, are far lower than the number of individuals who have filed initial claims with our agency over the past 10 weeks, a number topping 500,000. The disparity in the numbers is due to several factors, including:

·         The survey of the employment situation is taken in the week of the 12th of each month while the initial claims numbers are updated weekly.

·         There are tens of thousands of individuals whose business may have a furlough schedule, meaning they have filed a claim and will collect unemployment benefits for a week and then go back to work for a week. Depending on their schedule, the survey may not count them as unemployed even though they have an open claim with our agency.

·         There are individuals who are working, but their hours are reduced making them eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, but also employed.


As the governor and AccelerateSC plan the reengagement of our workplaces, the Department of Employment and Workforce – which has more than doubled its effort to serve South Carolinians during this crisis – will be focused on four things:


1.       Making sure all claims are processed and individuals are paid the critical benefits needed.

2.       Implementing the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for those whose benefits have or will expire.

3.       Helping people navigate the path back to work by understanding all of the eligibility scenarios offered for potential employment barriers lingering from the influences of the Coronavirus.

4.       Assisting employers with their workforce questions as they begin to reopen and help them find workers to support their business needs.

Our agency has a dual role under the umbrella of managing and supporting both employment and workforce through good times and bad, and we will continue to intensify our efforts to support the state.”



South Carolina’s Employment Situation

April 2020


Employment Falls Severely in Effort to Contain Pandemic

Unemployment Rate Rises Sharply


I. Household Survey1


Employment: The seasonally adjusted monthly survey of households estimated the number of South Carolinians working fell to 2,089,889.


·         That is a significant decrease of 238,913 people over March 2020.

·         That is also a significant decrease of 203,982 people over April 2019.


Unemployment: Unemployment estimates increased to 288,022 people.


·         That is a significant increase of 211,653 people since March 2020 and a significant increase of 210,351 over April 2019. This is the largest over-the-month increase as well as the highest level on record for the state.

·         The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to a record 12.1 percent in April from March’s revised rate of 3.2 percent. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the data series going back to 1976.


Nationally, the unemployment rate soared higher from 4.4 percent in March to 14.7 percent in April, thus reflecting the continued effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the household survey data. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series dating back to January 1948.


Labor force: The state’s estimated labor force (people working plus unemployed people looking for work) decreased to 2,377,911.


·         That is a decrease of 27,260 people since March 2020.

·         That is an increase of 6,369 individuals over April 2019.


II. Current Employment Survey2


Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted3)



The Current Employment Survey of businesses in South Carolina marked a decrease of 272,700 nonfarm payroll jobs over the month to a level of 1,925,000.


·         No industries reported gains.

·         Decreases were noticed in the Leisure and Hospitality (-125,300); Professional and Business Services (-40,700); Education and Health Services (-28,900); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-27,900); Government (-16,300); Manufacturing (-12,900); Other Services (-9,200); Construction (-6,100); Financial Activities (-4,900); and Information (-400) industry. 


From April 2019 to April 2020, South Carolina’s economy has lost 254,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.


·         No industries reported gains over the year.

·         Decreases were reported in Leisure and Hospitality (-126,500); Professional and Business Services (-34,000); Education and Health Services (-27,700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-25,600); Manufacturing (-12,600); Other Services (-9,200); Government (-9,100); Financial Activities (-5,700); Construction (-3,600); and Information (-500).


Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted2)


Not seasonally adjusted, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 256,600 from March 2020 to April 2020 for a total of 1,933,400.


·         No industries showed growth during this period.

·         Industries reporting declines were Leisure and Hospitality (-116,900); Professional and Business Services (-36,100); Education and Health Services (-29,900); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-26,200); Government (-15,400); Manufacturing (-13,200); Other Services (-8,700); Construction (-4,900); Financial Activities (-4,500); Information (-700); and Mining and Logging (-100).


Since April 2019, not seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were down 253,700 overall in South Carolina.

·         No industries has shown annual gains.

·         Industries recording an over the year loss are Leisure and Hospitality (-127,200); Professional and Business Services (-32,100); Education and Health Services (-27,800); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-24,900); Manufacturing (-13,000); Other Services (-9,200); Government (-9,000); Financial Activities (-6,300); Construction (-3,300); Information (-800); and Mining and Logging (-100).


With the unemployment rate now at 14.7% due in large part to the coronavirus, WalletHub today released its report on the States with the Biggest Increases in Unemployment Rates, along with accompanying videos, to illustrate which areas of the country have been most and least impacted by COVID-19’s assault on jobs. This report examines unemployment rates on a monthly basis, complementing the weekly analysis in WalletHub’s report on the States Hit Most by Unemployment Claims.

In order to identify the states with the biggest increases in unemployment rates, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on three key metrics. We looked at the change in each state’s unemployment rate during the latest month for which we have data (April 2020) compared to April 2019 and January 2020. We also considered each state’s overall unemployment rate. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.  

Most Affected Least Affected
1. Nevada 42. Alaska
2. Hawaii 43. Arkansas
3. Michigan 44. Missouri
4. Vermont 45. Maryland
5. New Hampshire 46. New Mexico
6. Indiana 47. Nebraska
7. Rhode Island 48. District of Columbia
8. Massachusetts 49. Wyoming
9. New Jersey 50. Minnesota
10. Ohio 51. Connecticut

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-biggest-increases-in-unemployment-rates/74907/




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