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Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
January 2022 Employment Situation
Columbia, SC – “As part of their annual process for accuracy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) spent the start of this year benchmarking 2021 employment data and adjusting employment numbers for the past five years. This yearly benchmarking means two things:
1. There are no employment numbers released in February of each year. Two releases are sent every March, the January employment situation is in today’s release, and the February employment situation which will be released next Friday, March 25, 2022. Thank you for your patience as our agency complies with the BLS national calendar.
2. Because the release of the monthly employment numbers are estimates that are captured to provide immediate information and trends of the employment status in each state, the benchmarking period allows BLS to revise or adjust these estimates appropriately. You will see some of the numbers have been adjusted, just as they are each year, as BLS has more time to vet the data,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.
“I am pleased to report that South Carolina’s employment situation continues to prosper with a total of 2,292,415 South Carolinians working in January 2022. In comparison with the revised state numbers for 2021, this is an increase of 5,854 employed South Carolinians since December 2021 and a substantial increase of 51,748 employed South Carolinians since January 2021. We also saw an increase in the state’s average hourly earnings to $28.06 in January 2022 which, compared to its prior rates of $27.05 in January 2021 and $25.47 in January 2020, shows a positive upward trend that is highly encouraging for individuals in the workforce,” continued Ellzey.
“In January of 2022, our state unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% from December’s adjusted unemployment rate of 3.6% with a total of 82,267 individuals unemployed. Saluda County and Lexington County have the lowest county unemployment rates in the state with 3.0% and 2.9%, respectively, while the highest county unemployment rates were for Allendale County and Marlboro County with 7.7% and 8.6%, respectively. For those who are still unemployed, please remember that there are several resources and advocates at SC Works Centers across the state who can help you get reemployed and find professional growth opportunities. I also strongly encourage all claimants and job seekers to visit SC Works Online Services (SWOS), which remains the state’s largest online job database to search for work and apply for any of the 105,000 open positions currently available on the site,” said Ellzey.
“There are multiple sectors having economic gains and job growth, including Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Leisure and Hospitality; Professional and Business Services; and Manufacturing,” continued Ellzey.
“Our agency is always actively working on not only enhancing the benefits of our current programs and services for job seekers and employers alike. Many companies are opening their doors to new hires and your next career step could be one application away on SCWOS or one visit away at an SC Works Center,” concluded Ellzey.