DEW Executive Director's Statement December 2019

by Kristin Coulter | Jan 24, 2020

Immediate Release

January 24, 2019


Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey’s Statement

December 2019 Employment Situation

“South Carolina has finished a year of robust economic growth with record-breaking workforce numbers. In 2019, we:

  • Set a new record for the number of people working: 2,329,639. That is an increase of 70,000 for the year;
  • Set a new record for the unemployment rate: 2.3 percent. That is a decrease of 28 percent for the year; and
  • Decreased the number of unemployed people by almost 20,000.

“Despite these records, our business community has approximately 60,000 job postings. These businesses need qualified workers so they can expand and prosper. While this is a challenge, we are looking for solutions. Today, many of our unemployed South Carolinians live in rural areas. Our rural initiative seeks to locate unemployed individuals in an area, train them if necessary, and connect them with local employers. We are in the middle of a pilot program, which should give us insight about rural counties. Second, we have over 1.6 million individuals sitting on the sidelines. That is, they are not working and are not looking for work. Based upon government data, we feel like over 5 percent of these individuals could be lured back into the workforce if the situation meets their demands. We are running another pilot program looking at flexible shift scheduling in an attempt to lure people from the sidelines to the workplace. If these programs work, it will be good news for employees, employers and the state of South Carolina,” said Dan Ellzey, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.



About the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

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, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.


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