See South Carolina’s Employment Landscape Shift in Interactive Chart

The top employing industry in South Carolina currently is retail trade. That’s changed from years past when manufacturing employed the most people in the Palmetto State and many others throughout the country.


Watch a progression in the change of the employment landscape from 1990 to 2013 on this animated graphic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though our state recently has experienced a surge in manufacturing companies locating and expanding, the industry is not at the employment levels from the 1990s and early 2000s. According to the graphic, 2008 was the last year manufacturing was the top employer.

This trend is evident throughout the country as manufacturing declined, and retail trade and health care and social assistance increased.

The data in the graphic are from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.


Saluda County Pledges its Commitment to Workforce and Economic Growth; Certified as Palmetto State’s Fourth Work Ready Community

SCWorkReady_Communities_logoSaluda County today became the state’s fourth county to receive the South Carolina Work Ready Community designation through ACT.

This means it has met all its workforce and education goals that demonstrate to businesses its strong workforce and commitment to economic growth.

“Our ability to attract new businesses and expand the ones we already have is in no small part due to our state’s world-class workforce and why making sure they have the training and experience to take advantage of the record economic success we have seen is so important,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “Saluda being the fourth county in our state to become a Certified Work Ready Community is a big deal and we thank them for their commitment to making Team South Carolina the best it can be.”

Led by ACT, the initiative provides a framework for states to strengthen economic development using a community-based approach grounded in certifying counties as work ready. To earn a South Carolina Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties have to reach goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates, meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage, meet goals in soft skills assessments and engage business support.

“South Carolina has become the ‘it’ state in economic development largely because of its skilled workforce. It speaks volumes that Saluda and three other counties have earned this national recognition, and as more counties earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, it further reinforces the fact that South Carolina is committed to having the best business environment possible,” said Lewis F. Gossett, President and CEO, South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

“This is a joint effort by several agencies within Saluda County to include local businesses, educators, as well as local government to make Saluda County more competitive in attracting new industry and supporting existing businesses in the county,” said Donald E. Hancock, chair, Saluda County Council.  ”The help received from SC Works, the Department of Commerce, Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Upper Savannah Regional Education Center, Piedmont Technical College, among others, was critical to reaching this milestone.”

Saluda County joins the ranks of Clarendon, McCormick and Colleton counties that have previously received the South Carolina Certified Work Ready Community designation.

South Carolina was one of four pilot states selected to participate in the ACT Certified Work Ready Community program. For additional information, please visit

Hiring events vs. Job Fairs

jobfairorhiringeventYou may have noticed that the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and SC Works use the term job fair and hiring event often when posting on their websites or  Twitter feeds. But did you know that these terms are not used interchangeably but rather have distinct differences in the nature of the events?

Hiring events are typically held when there is just one employer present looking to fill one or more positions. These events are on a smaller scale and typically held at your local SC Works center.

The best way to know about upcoming hiring events in your area is to follow @SCWorksinfo on Twitter. This resource posts events from every region of the state.

Some areas even have their own twitter feeds which would be beneficial to follow as well including @SCWorksMidlands, @SCWorksPeeDee, @SCWorksWorklink, @SCWorksUpstate, @SCWorks_LC (Lowcountry) and @UpperSCWorks (Upper Savannah).

A job fair is a larger scale event with multiple employers present. These can be both public and private employers.

@SCWorksinfo also tweets about upcoming job fairs, but you can also check out for a complete list.

To stay in touch with all statewide workforce services and resources, follow @SCDEWinfo.

New Law Updates Nation’s Job Training Programs

President Obama signed a new law this week to update and enhance training programs for the nation’s unemployed.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act builds on what states are currently doing through programs like the Workforce Investment Act and Trade Adjustment Assistance. The new act will improve on the types of training available with more opportunities for apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

This will allow more focus on how many people get and retain jobs as a result of training rather than how many enroll into training.

Stay tuned for how this will directly improve training opportunities in South Carolina and visit your local SC Works center to learn more about training initiatives already available.

To read more about the new law, click here.

Jobseekers get details, questions answered about Continental’s hiring process

S.C. jobseekers on Thursday learned about Continental Tire in Sumter’s hiring process during two information sessions at the F.E. DuBose Campus of Central Carolina Technical College near Manning.

Recruiters from the company outlined the benefits of working at Continental and discussed the organization’s overall work culture. They also answered questions on a variety of topics ranging from safety and uniforms to the way shifts are organized. About 40 people attended the 10 a.m. session, and another was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Continental employs about 180,000 people globally and has 20 tire plants in the United States. The Sumter plant currently has about 500 employees and plans to hire another 1,000, according to company officials.


Representatives from the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and ReadySC also were on hand to answer questions about the application and hiring process as those organizations are assisting with recruitment.

After the approximately 45-minute information session with Continental representatives, DEW staff assisted those qualified candidates in completing and submitting online applications. Submitting an application is the first step in the hiring process, which also includes screening through ReadySC, simulation testing and pre-hire training.

Minimum qualifications to work at Continental include a high school diploma or GED and at least one year of manufacturing or production experience.

The company will accept either military experience or the South Carolina Manufacturing Certification (SCMC) in lieu of the one year experience.


The SCMC program is 200 hours and includes classroom and hands-on training in advanced manufacturing skills. It is available at technical colleges throughout the state. Learn more about the program here or at an SC Works center near you.

If you missed one of the information sessions but are still interested in a job with Continental, don’t worry. You can still apply by visiting

If you have recently applied, you can check the status of your application by logging into your readySC account.

South Carolina’s Employment Situation in June 2014

Unemployment Rate Unchanged for Second Consecutive Month

The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate held firm at 5.3 percent in June, reflecting no change since April. An estimated 115,583 people were unemployed, showing an increase of 630 people over the month while the number of employed decreased by 847 people totaling 2,050,128. Over the month, the labor force declined by 217 people to 2,165,711.

Since June 2013, the state’s unemployment rate fell by 2.5 percentage points. More than 35,000 people have found work, and the labor force has decreased by 20,082 people. Nationally, the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May.

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted)

June’s seasonally adjusted, non-farm payroll employment reported its fourth seasonal employment increase this year with an increase of 4,400 over the month to reach the level of 1,933,100.

  •  Upticks in employment were in Professional and Business Services (+2,700); Education and Health Services (+ 1,600); Leisure and Hospitality (+ 1,600); and Other Services (+1,000). Smaller increases occurred in Manufacturing (+300) and Information (+200).
  • Drops occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-1,500); Construction (-600); Government (-600); and Financial Services (-400).

Between June 2013 and June 2014, seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs increased 42,500.

  •  Industries with noticeable growth were Professional and Business Services (+11,400); Leisure and Hospitality (+8,100); Manufacturing (+7,800); Education and Health Services (+7,200); and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+5,200). Government grew (+2,300), along with Construction (+1,500) and Information (+600).
  •  Declines over the year were reported in Financial Activities (-1,500) and Other Services (-100).

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The not-seasonally adjusted, non-farm payroll employment in June increased slightly adding 3,500 over the month to a total of 1,949,600.

Growth was focused in Leisure and Hospitality (+6,600); Professional
and Business Services (+3,400); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+2,300); Manufacturing (+1,200); Construction (+900); and Other Services (+800). Other increases were seen in Information (+200) and Natural Resources and Mining (+100). Drops were reported in Government (-9,900) and Education and Health Services (-1,900) as public and private educational institutions continue their usual summer decline.
Since June 2013, not-seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up 41,600. Robust annual gains came from Professional and Business Services (+11,300); Leisure and Hospitality (+7,600); Manufacturing (+7,400); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+6,200); and Education and Health Services (+6,200). Government (+3,100); Construction (+1,800); and Information (+600) also had upticks. Financial Activities (-2,000) and Other Services (-600) registered declines over the year.

For the complete employment situation, including county-level data, visit

STEM jobs in South Carolina: Demand Outpaces Supply

A recent U.S. Census Bureau study found that the majority of people with bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering or math –often called STEM—are not currently employed in those types of jobs.

“STEM graduates have relatively low unemployment, however these graduates are not necessarily employed in STEM occupations,” said Liana Christin Landivar, a sociologist in the Census Bureau’s Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch.


In South Carolina, there is currently a greater demand for STEM workers than a supply of graduates. According to an analysis by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce’s Labor Market Division, there were 16,545 S.C. higher-education graduates with STEM-related training in 2012. Most were in healthcare, and architecture and engineering. More than 49 percent of those STEM graduates received degrees, certificates or diplomas less than a bachelor’s degree.

The occupations with the largest increase in job ads in the Palmetto State include registered nurses, acute care nurses, nurse practitioners and database administrators. In fact, nine of the top 25 employers posting job openings through SC Works Online Services as of July 17 were hospitals and health care organizations. See this list below:


Declining STEM jobs were mostly in engineering and medical therapy.

If you are a jobseeker looking to get into the health care field, check out this overview with education requirements and potential wages.

To learn more about a career in Information Technology, check this resource out.


Millennial Jobseekers Have it Hard, But it Can be Done

millennialsThough nationwide the economy is officially on the upswing, and the unemployment rate continues to decline— falling to 6.1 percent in June — new data shows that millennials aren’t having much luck when it comes to finding employment.

Approximately 40 percent the unemployed labor force are millennials, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce. That’s greater than Generation X, at 37 percent unemployed, and baby boomers at 23 percent unemployed.

The numbers are a result of the recession, which forced businesses to reduce resources while older workers were left with little option but to accept entry level positions at oftentimes lower salaries. This left millennials struggling to even get a foot in the door, much less full-time employment.

But despite the stats, there is research showing that all is not lost for this younger generation. With the continued improvement of the economy and more college graduates than ever before, employers have begun to hire again, and they expect their employees to be educated.

In fact, more than 80 percent of job openings posted online are for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree.

But how do you land one of these jobs? Look at the numbers.

The largest categories of jobs posted online are in office and professional  settings (33 percent) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs (28 percent), which together accounts for more than 1.1 million openings out of a total of 1.9 million that require bachelor degrees or higher.

Based on listings, the most in-demand professional/office jobs are accountants and auditors and medical/health service managers.

Applications software developers and computer systems analysts are the top listings for advertised STEM jobs.

The point being, if you are an entry-level millennial, carefully consider what the economic data shows about your industry of interest. This way you are fully aware of your job prospects.

There are so many great resources out there to help you make an informed decision. If you plan to make your roots in South Carolina, is a great resource for all things labor statistics and an industry perspective in the Palmetto State.

It might also be a good idea to research new trends and best practices in your industry. It’s always smart to stay on top of best practices and new technologies to make you better in your field.

This list from the networking site, LinkedIn, is a great place to start: 40 Career Building Tips for Millennials in 2014.

Recent announcements equal jobs in Lowcountry and Union County

Two recent economic development announcements will create new jobs for opposite ends of the state.

Meter Bearings Group, a designer and producer of ball and cylindrical roller bearings, is establishing its first U.S. manufacturing operations in Colleton County, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The $4.5 million investment is expected to create 50 new jobs during the next five years.  The facility is being built in Walterboro and is scheduled to begin production by September 2015.

The company is coordinating with readySC to create a customized, pre-employment training program.

For more information about the new jobs and to apply, visit or visit the Colleton SC Works Center at  1085 Thunderbolt Road in Walterboro.

To the north and west, department store retailer Belk, Inc. will expand its Union County e-commerce distribution and fulfillment center operations, according to the Commerce Department.

The $47 million investment will add 20 new jobs, which will grow the company’s Jonesville presence to 314 employees.

In December, Belk announced its intention to hire an additional 170 personnel by the end of 2015, and this expansion grows those expectations to add another 20 jobs.

Those interested in employment opportunities with the company may visit Belk’s careers page and search for positions in Jonesville, S.C.

South Carolina Deemed Most Patriotic State in Nation

During this time of year patriotism can be found everywhere. Americans far and wide recently came together to cheer as our national soccer team competed in front of the world at the FIFA World Cup, and tomorrow we will celebrate Independence Day.

Today, South Carolinians have an extra reason to celebrate because the Palmetto State has been deemed the most patriotic state in the nation. But, for anyone who has spent any amount of time in the Palmetto State, it’s probably no surprise.


The ranking is based on Movoto Real Estate’s measure of national landmarks per capita, veterans per capita, number of residents who voted in the last presidential election, people who Google for American flags, and people who list “America” as an interest on Facebook.

With nine military bases and a large military population, South Carolina is dedicated to supporting its military community. In March, the state’s annual unemployment rate for veterans 18 and older dropped to 4.1 percent, down from 6.9 percent the same time in 2012; ranking the sixth lowest rate in the nation.

blog1Initiatives like Operation Palmetto Employment exist to help veterans and their family members find civilian jobs and links hiring employers to this vital community. The SC Department of Employment and Workforce gives veterans priority job seeker services and has dedicated staff that work specifically with this population.

Priority means that veterans and eligible spouses receive access services earlier than others. Also, if a particular resource (such as a training program) is limited, the veteran or eligible spouse receives access to the service before others. Members of the military are encouraged to take advantage of these free resources by visiting their local SC Works center or creating a veteran jobseeker account at

With the hard work and dedication at the state level along with public and private organizations, and today’s validation that South Carolinians love their country, South Carolina is well on its way to being the most military-friendly state in the nation.