Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

December 2021 Employment Situation


“We ended 2021 with more good news. South Carolina set a new record for the highest number of individuals working in our state’s history. Employment rose in December by 3,008 to a total of 2,320,717 employed. That is 97,237 more than last December and 21,376 more than the pre-pandemic number. We also saw our unemployment rate go to 3.5 percent in December from a November rate of 3.7 percent. The unemployment rate is moving closer and closer to our pre-pandemic rates,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey.

“As part of our cyclical fluctuation, we did see a spike in initial claims in late December and early January. This increase happens in December and January because there are seasonal hirings and layoffs in manufacturing and other industries. But, we anticipate that the number will drop as we move past the beginning of the first quarter, as it does every year,” continued Ellzey.

“Another interesting trend to report is that wages have increased in the state by approximately 7.5 percent since the beginning of 2020,” said Ellzey. “In fact, industries like education and healthcare, construction, as well as leisure and hospitality, have experienced more than a 15 percent increase in the past two years. “That fact, along with there being more than 104,500 job opportunities currently posted in SC Works Online Services (SCWOS), is a strong reminder that it is a truly opportune time for people to join the workforce.”

“As numerous industries in our state continue to grow, SC Works can help people identify the jobs and companies in their area that have openings with requirements that align with their skills. The professionals at these centers can help with all parts of the job search process, from networking and training to resumé writing and interview preparation. Companies are hiring. We encourage jobseekers to take advantage of these job openings,” concluded Ellzey.

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, job seekers, and those looking to advance their careers.

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