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Greenville Business Magazine

SC Companies Are Hiring. But Where Are the Workers?

Nov 03, 2020 10:21AM ● By David Dykes
By David Dykes

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce reported the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent in September from August’s revised estimate of 6.4 percent.

From September 2019 to September 2020, South Carolina’s economy has lost 79,600 seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs.
Only other services (+8,700) and construction (+2,200) industries reported gains over the year.
Decreases were reported in leisure and hospitality (-46,800); education and health services (-14,200); trade, transportation, and utilities (-11,100); government (-9,300); professional and business services (-5,800); financial activities (-1,800); information (-800); and manufacturing (-400).

"September’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.1 percent is an impressive decline from last month’s revised estimate of 6.4 percent. However, what our agency is hearing from the business community is the urgent need for workers," said DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey.

"While we know a lot of businesses suffered layoffs during the pandemic, industries have ramped back up and several are experiencing a boom."

He added, "
“People who are looking for employment are finding work. And now is the time to secure one of these in-demand jobs because South Carolina needs people in the workforce. If individuals have stopped looking for work because they believe businesses are closed or not hiring, let me assure you that is not the case. We are working with employers all over the state who need employees now more than ever.” 

One of those hiring is Greenville-based Lima Capital, which specializes in financing for real estate investors who are building, improving, and stabilizing neighborhoods across the nation.

"We currently have 20 open positions posted and actively hiring for them," says CEO Jeff Tennyson.

"We are always hiring," says Willis Cantey, CEO of North Charleston-based Cantey Tech Consulting, which provides IT support and consulting ranging from help desk support to advanced security, hosting, and backups.

"Even when we don't have a position open, we will bring on someone because we know we will need additional help down the road," Cantey says. "We are looking for IT support techs who are good with technology, problem solve in a process-oriented way, and like to communicate with humans."

At Preferred Home Services, a North Charleston plumbing and HVAC service provider, co-owner Chris DiCampli echoed that comment.

"We are always looking for great people," he says "Everything from skilled tradesman to sales to customer service. A great attitude and aptitude far exceeds industry experience, but we would love to talk to anyone interested in joining our team."

And while South Carolina’s jobless rate has been dropping, fewer people are working compared with a year ago.

Officials say the seasonally adjusted, monthly survey of households estimated the number of South Carolinians working in September increased to 2,268,821. 

That was an increase of 2,571 people over August 2020, but a significant decrease of 54,021 people over September 2019.

Says the DEW’s Ellzey: "Research has shown that individuals who stayed employed – even if the job was in a different field or industry – were able to transition more successfully as the economy rebounded than people who had employment gaps. While we celebrate those who found stable employment last month, there is still work to be done."