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DEW Jobs Report Highlights York/Mecklenburg County Ties


York County enjoys a unique position, geographically, in South Carolina. It borders a county (Mecklenburg) that houses a major U.S. city – Charlotte, N.C.

This perch gives York County workers easy access to a major job market just 20 miles up I-77. And York County residents do take advantage of that. The latest numbers from the state Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) show that as of November 2019 more than 29,000 of York County’s employed residents commute to Mecklenburg County. Approximately 4,000 more cross the North Carolina border to work in other neighboring counties, mainly Gaston and Union.

That’s out of more than 136,000 workers who reside in York County – a little more than half the county’s overall population of roughly 225,000, according to DEW.

In return, York County employs about 13,000 North Carolinians.

Overall, DEW reported that South Carolina boasted a 2.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in November. York County finished the month at 2.1 percent. Both are comfortably below the national average of 3.3 percent, as well as below the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent estimate for Charlotte, 4 percent.

The lion’s share of jobs in York County are in retail, manufacturing, and hospitality. Those three industries account for about 35,000 jobs, according to DEW. York County’s retail sector also surpassed state averages, but generally mirrored its ebbs and flows.

York County reported 197 unemployment claims in November – 105 from men, 92 from women. Of those claims, 106 were made by unemployed whites. Eighty-six claims were made by adults with college degrees; another 85 by those with some college education.  Nearly 150 claimants fell between the ages of 25 and 55.

Elsewhere in the state, Lexington and Charleston counties shared the state’s lowest unemployment rate in November – 1.7 percent. Bamberg County had the highest unemployment rate in the state, 4.3 percent. That’s down from 4.9 percent in October.

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia reporter for South Carolina Public Radio. Follow Scott on Twitter @byscottmorgan. And follow South Carolina Public Radio @SCPublicRadio