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DEW Executive Director’s Statement November 2020

Fri, 12/18/2020

Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement

November 2020 Employment Situation


“There’s no doubt our nation and state continue to battle back from record high unemployment, but South Carolina’s unemployment rate is holding steady with a slight uptick from 4.2 percent in October to 4.4 percent in November. It will take grit and tenacity to rebound fully, not only from employers continuing to find innovative ways to make their workplaces safe, but also for job seekers who are being challenged now more than ever to rethink employment options and unique career opportunities,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.

“One thing our agency has noticed over the past several months is a decrease in people applying for jobs in SC Works Online Services (SCWOS). This trend is concerning when there are approximately 80,000 posted positions in the system. 80,000 jobs that represent a diverse set of skills and a variety of educational requirements. In most cases, these jobs would not require a move, new training or education, or experience in a different skill set. What it would require is that jobseekers think creatively about what a new job or career might look like – and start applying for jobs,” continued Ellzey.

“There are very good jobs out there with benefits and salaries that can help provide better financial stability than unemployment insurance ever could. And, most jobs provide medical benefits, something no one gets with unemployment benefits. Through November, our agency has sent 1.3 million direct messages to UI claimants with customized information about area job fairs, hiring events and open jobs that match the skills reported by the claimant in the benefits system. We hope people will use these leads in a job search,” stated Ellzey.

“I recently heard a story about a woman who was a waitress for many years, but was encouraged to pursue a customer service role in a call center. Not only was her skillset a perfect match, she’s thrived in the new environment. Call centers nationwide are seeing massive hiring increases due to demand. This is just one type of business that’s flourishing in the pandemic and an example of how you can leverage your skillset in one industry to land a good paying job in another,” stated Ellzey.

“If you don’t know where to start, our SC Works center partners statewide are ready, eager and willing to help. They are connected with employers who are hiring right now. The first step can be the hardest, but employment will be worth it,” concluded Ellzey.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: For a better understanding of how the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics utilizes trained Census Bureau employees to capture critical labor force data each month, you can read the full PDF explanation here:


About the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency has four missions: (1) workforce development; (2) free job match employment services; (3) unemployment insurance; and (4) labor market information. All four missions contribute to workforce development. The agency is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services and programs that meet the needs of our businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.