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Executive Director William Floyd's March 2024 Employment Statement

Fri, 04/19/2024

Employment and Workforce Executive Director William Floyd’s Statement

March 2024 Employment Situation

Columbia, S.C. – “South Carolina’s economy continues to show stable strength with the number of people employed rising to 2,399,623, approximately 3,500 more individuals than February’s number. The unemployment rate holds at 3.1% and the labor force participation rate holds at 57.1%,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Executive Director William Floyd.

“As our labor force and economy continue to grow, employers are exploring labor resources within our state. DEW daily connects employers with recent graduates, rural job seekers, and many others, including formerly incarcerated individuals ready to re-enter the workforce, as we are highlighting during April’s Second Chance Awareness Month observance,” said Floyd.

“The Second Chance program, a collaborative partnership between DEW, the S.C. Department of Corrections, and S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, helps returning citizens build essential skills to find and secure employment upon reentry. While incarcerated, participants enhance their employability through hands-on work and education programs, as well as through jobseeker services provided by DEW, such as soft skills training, résumé support, and mock interview practice. Just last month, for example, incarcerated individuals were able to participate in more than 40 virtual mock interviews during a one-day session conducted by HR volunteers who are members of the Society for Human Resources Management, Columbia Chapter,” continued Floyd.

“Second Chance hiring practices help reduce recidivism, introduce more workers into the workforce, and save taxpayer dollars. Further, employers who hire from this expanded talent pool can benefit from unique financial incentives, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Federal Bonding program, which are both administered by DEW. In fact, for the most recent fiscal year, businesses saved a potential of $97,193,400 in tax credits through the WOTC program,” said Floyd. “Employers who have hired justice-involved citizens frequently share that those individuals tend to be some of their hardest working and most dedicated workforce.

“While April is Second Chance Awareness Month, these efforts take place year-round. If you would like to learn more about Second Chance employment opportunities, whether as an individual, business, or organization, please contact your local SC Works center to get started,” concluded Floyd.