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Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement
February 2022 Employment Situation
Columbia, S.C. – “For February 2022, South Carolina’s labor force is up to 2,378,364, which is 61,891 more individuals than the pre-pandemic February 2020 number of 2,316,473. That pushes the state’s current labor force participation rate up to 57.2% from 57.1% in January 2022. This number, however, is lower than the February 2020 labor force participation rate of 57.4%,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.
“Our state’s labor force participation rate is the percentage of South Carolina’s civilian population that is either working or actively looking for work. As our civilian population continues to steadily increase every year, our labor force is affected by the new addition of state residents, making it one cause for the slight decrease in the participation rate since February 2020. We still have great progress in our labor force with more people employed now than there were pre-pandemic, and we expect those employment numbers to continue to grow,” stated Ellzey.
“The unemployment rate stayed at 3.5 for the second month in a row,” continued Ellzey. “However, while we have 46,353 more employees working in February 2022 than there were in February 2020, employer demand is still high. We currently have more than 112,000 job postings in SC Works Online Services, which is approximately 41,000 more postings than there were prior to the pandemic,” continued Ellzey.
“Earlier this week, our agency announced the first meeting of the Labor Force Participation Task Force, which is comprised of a group of labor economists we have asked to delve into the data about South Carolina to explore the state’s participation rate, possible influencers, and provide information that could help our agency and other stakeholders determine the best courses of action to increase the labor force. This group will be working very hard over the next several months. If you would like to speak with one of DEW’s economists about their roles on the Task Force, feel free to contact our agency for an interview or statement,” concluded Ellzey.