Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

To better respond, we are making changes to the claimant system (MyBenefits portal) nightly from 11 pm – 3 am, and our system will not be available. We apologize for any inconvenience.

DEW Executive Director’s Statement January 2021

Mon, 03/15/2021

Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
January 2021 Employment Situation

“As part of their annual process, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) spent the month of January benchmarking 2020 employment data. Therefore, DEW will be releasing two employment situation reports this month. Today’s release is for January 2021 data. Next Friday, March 26, we will release data for February 2021,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.

“In reviewing the revised unemployment rate for December 2020, January’s unemployment rate has gone down slightly from 5.6% (December 2020’s revised rate) to 5.3% (January 2021). That number, however, is higher than where we were in October 2020, and well above the pre-pandemic levels experienced in February 2020. One disturbing aspect of this unemployment rate is that we are noticing that claimants are conducting very few job searches. While the mandatory job search requirement was stopped since March 2020, we will be re-imposing this weekly requirement in the near future. We are urging claimants to start this positive habit of searching for work now and are encouraging them to search the 87,000 open positions available in South Carolina on the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) portal and apply for positions available in their area,” continued Ellzey.

“For those who are still unemployed, please remember that there are a number of resources and advocates who are ready to help you. Our SC Works centers statewide offer training opportunities, assist with resume writing and enhancement, help with a local work search and prepare you to re-enter the workforce. Businesses around the state would love to see more South Carolinians re-engaging in the workforce, earning a livable wage without worry of federal programs expiring and enjoying a sense of fulfilment in the work they do,” said Ellzey.

“Our Labor Market Information team is hard at work on the next Data Trends publication which will explain the BLS annual benchmarking process and its importance, while providing a look back at the volatile 2020 year and those affected by unemployment during the pandemic. This resource provides a wealth of information and insight about South Carolina’s workforce and other labor market information,” 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: