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Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
October 2021 Employment Situation
Columbia, SC – “South Carolina’s employment situation continues its strong recovery. The state saw employment gains for another month, adding an additional 4,156 jobs over the September number. In fact, there are 14,000 more people working today than prior to the pandemic in February 2020. That means that employment in South Carolina has grown 0.6% between February 2020 and October 2021. Nationally, employment has actually declined 3.0% over the same period,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey.
“There is more good news with unemployment and the unemployment rate. The number of people unemployed have continued to fall. At the same time, the unemployment rate has continued to fall to a new post-pandemic level of 3.9%. Nationally, October’s rate was 4.6%,” said Ellzey.
“The trend for initial claims (job losses) also demonstrates outstanding recovery. In the first four months of the pandemic (March through June of 2020), South Carolina averaged 152,525 initial claims per month. Over the past four months (July through October of 2021), an average of only 7,731 initial claims have been filed per month. That is a 95% decrease,” continued Ellzey.
“With the state’s record numbers and positive trends, there are still abundant job opportunities,” stated Ellzey. “One industry that is critical to a robust economy is the trucking industry, particularly leading up to the holidays when demand for goods is so high. There are around 1,500 job postings in the past 30 days for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers throughout the state, with nearly 400 of those in Charleston County, near our exceptional ports system.”
“At the Department of Employment and Workforce, we are doing everything we can to help employers fill those truck driver jobs. Our agency identifies all unemployment claimants with truck driving experience and connects them with local employers who are hiring. An individual does not have to be on unemployment, however, to obtain a trucking job. Representatives in the SC Works centers can help with training opportunities and linking people with area employers, for the trucking industry and many others,” concluded Ellzey.