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Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
April 2022 Employment Situation
Columbia, S.C. – “It is good news all around for April’s numbers. The labor force is up by 7,446 to 2,391,792. Once again, a new high. The labor force participation rate is up a tenth of a point to 57.3%. The number of people getting jobs is up by 9,017. Unemployment is down by 1,571 and the unemployment rate went from 3.4% to 3.3%, remaining below the U.S. rate of 3.6%,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey.
“In addition, wages continue to grow. In the past year, wages in South Carolina have risen 4.38%, from $26.70 in April 2021 to $27.87 in April 2022. Some of this increase is due to movement between industries,” stated Ellzey. “As individuals leave lower-paying jobs for work in manufacturing, for instance, that leaves more openings which creates competition for workers and compels the lower-paying jobs to increase wages in order to attract jobseekers.”
“While the number one challenge we hear from employers is not being able to find enough workers, the second most common difficulty is that young people entering the workforce do not have adequate soft skills. Our agency recognizes that predicament and we offer programs to teach individuals soft skills. We are also leading an initiative to come up with a statewide soft skills certification,” continued Ellzey.
“As we head into the summer months, seasonal and part-time jobs will be on the rise. In addition to the much-needed retail and hospitality work, we will also see an increased opportunity for jobs at water parks, theme parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, YMCAs, and entry-level manufacturing work. It is a great time for young people to build their soft skills to better prepare for success when they enter the workforce,” concluded Ellzey.