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Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
September 2022 Employment Situation
Columbia, S.C. – “Wages in South Carolina are at an all-time high and the state is overflowing with job opportunities,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey. “While unemployment has edged up slightly and employment has dropped, overall, the numbers have remained steady and strong for the last several months.”
“So how do we move the state’s job situation from great to better? We start with the available job openings. There are more than 106,000 jobs posted in SC Works Online Services (SCWOS). You pair that with the average hourly earnings at $28.59, and you have an ideal combination for a jobseeker,” said Ellzey.
“Interestingly, one of the best sources of prospective hires for employers are not individuals who are listed as employed or unemployed. It is the group of individuals who are out of the workforce and not looking for work that can make a considerable impact on the job market,” stated Ellzey. “Our agency and the South Carolina Labor Force Participation Task Force have been studying this group, why they aren’t working, and what we can do to help them reenter the workforce.”
“The Task Force is taking a top-down approach with a statewide survey to talk with the unemployed and also conducting research to examine how the labor force participation can be increased in the state. Simultaneously, DEW is taking a bottom-up approach by working on the Laurens County Direct Connect pilot program in which the agency is reaching out to each individual within the area who was employed before the pandemic but is not working now to ask why and to determine what we could do to help connect them with local employers.”
“One finding that has jumped out in both projects is that of those who are not working and not looking for work, 28 percent would be willing to return to work if they had help connecting to the right employers in their area. While this 28 percent should not be applied to the total 1.8 million who are not currently in the workforce, particularly since some individuals are retired, it still indicates that there is a large number of people who would work,” said Ellzey.
“Our agency will continue to connect jobseekers with employers and help individuals join the workforce. If you are not employed, whether you have been looking for work or not, pay is high and a variety of jobs are available across the state. Don’t miss out on these opportunities,” concluded Ellzey.