South Carolina’s Employment Situation August 2014

Unemployment Rate Increases for Second Consecutive Month

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 6.4 percent in August from a revised 5.8 percent in July. The estimated number of unemployed increased by 13,396 people to 138,108 in August.

The number of working South Carolinians fell by 7,649 people to 2,035,751. From July to August, the labor force grew by 5,747 people to a level of 2,173,859.

About 20,168 people have found work since August 2013, and the labor force decreased by nearly 6,282 people in that same time period. Over the year, the state’s unemployment rate declined by 1.1
percentage points.

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased to 6.1 percent in August from 6.2 percent in July, showing little change over the past three months.

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted)

August’s seasonally adjusted, non-farm payrolls increased by 5,000 over the month to 1,932,100.

 Industries with the highest increases were Education and Health Services (+2,800); Leisure and Hospitality (+1,200); and Manufacturing (+1,000). Job gains were reported in Professional and Business Services (+800); Other Services (+400); and Government (+200).

 Decreases occurred in Information (-700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-400); and Construction (-200).

Since August 2013, seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up 34,100.
 Employment improved in Leisure and Hospitality (+8,100); Professional and Business Services (+7,800); Manufacturing (+7,400); Education and Health Services (+6,600); Government (+2,700); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+2,600); and, Construction (+1,400).
 Financial Activities (-1,100); Information (-900); and Other Services (-500) reported declines.

Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Payroll employment (not-seasonally adjusted, non-farm) in August increased 2,300 from July to 1,929,300. Historically, employment grows during the month of August as schools gear up for the next semester. This is illustrated by the over-the-month growth in Education and Health Services (+3,200) and Government (+1,700). Other upswings were seen in Manufacturing (+1,400) and Professional and Business Services (+500). Industries reporting the most prominent decreases were Leisure and Hospitality (-2,300); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-1,200); and, Information (-700).

Since August 2013, not-seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up 32,600 overall with strong gains from Manufacturing (+7,700); Professional and Business Services (+7,400); Leisure and Hospitality (+6,900); Education and Health Services (+6,400); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+3,100); Government (+2,900); and Construction (+1,500). Financial Activities (-2,000) had a substantial loss, and there were two smaller drops: Other Services (-700) and Information (-600).

Working Wednesday to Feature Manufacturing Training Program

Manufacturing jobs in South Carolina grew by 6,800 in the past year, and recent headlines point to the industry’s continued growth in the Palmetto State.

Area Development magazine last week named our state the third best place in the country to do business in part because of recent expansion announcements at BMW and Boeing.jobschatlogo

If you are searching for a job or considering a career change, now might be the right time to explore manufacturing. Tonight’s Working Wednesday segment on WIS-TV will focus on the SC Manufacturing Certification program. The 200-hour program available at technical schools statewide equips you with the skills essential to be successful for the high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing.

Tune in during the 5, 6 and 7 p.m. news casts to learn more. Send in questions via Twitter with the #jobschat.

Visit sctechsystem.edu/scmc to find a program near you.

DEW Makes Second Early Unemployment Trust Fund Loan Repayment This Year

This payment amount more than doubles the payment sent in April

COLUMBIA—The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) today announced it made a second early voluntary payment of $126 million to the federal government for the agency’s unemployment trust fund loan, saving the state $660,000 in interest.

The early payment will also allow the state to apply for a fourth consecutive Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) credit reduction.  If approved, the FUTA credit reduction will avoid higher federal unemployment taxes for South Carolina businesses.

“Today’s announcement that DEW is making its second early loan payment this year – saving our citizens a combined $2 million in interest – is tremendous news for South Carolina’s businesses and taxpayers,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “This is the kind of commitment to responsible government that the people of our state expect and exactly what is possible when a state experiences the level of economic success we have over the last four years. It’s a great day in South Carolina.”

“The ability to make an early loan payment of this size is directly tied to the Palmetto State’s improved economy,” said DEW Executive Director Cheryl M. Stanton. “With more people working and less people receiving unemployment benefits, we have been able to use unanticipated, additional funds to pay down the debt the state incurred during the Great Recession.”

When the 2014 unemployment tax rate was set, the federal government estimated 1,968,209 South Carolinians were employed. As of July 2014, 2,043,602 people are employed in the state, leading to additional tax collections.

Moreover, South Carolina paid more than $57.2 million less in unemployment benefits between October 2013 and August 2014 compared to the same time frame during the previous year.

Following this month’s early payment of $126 million combined with April’s early $60 million payment, the outstanding balance on the loan is $270 million. To date, South Carolina has repaid more than $706 million of the $977 million borrowed from the federal government, and is still scheduled to repay the loan in full by the end of 2015.

Everyone Plays a Role in Reemployment

With the steepest declining unemployment rate nationwide, South Carolina’s economy has bolstered in 2014. In fact, more South Carolinians are working than ever before, peaking most recently at 2,050,975 in May.

The successes of the state’s economy can be largely attributed to the businesses that call the Palmetto State home. Without the commitment to hire, thousands of South Carolinians would be unemployed and unable to support their families and themselves.

But did you know that in July alone, there were still 124,670 individuals unemployed in our state? Many of these are considered long-term unemployed or without a job for 27 weeks or more. The long-term unemployed comprise 82,000 jobseekers in South Carolina alone and 3.2 million jobseekers nationwide.

Untitled-2The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) offers a variety of job placement services. In SC Works centers across the state, the agency provides free skills development workshops and training opportunities to those who are eligible. Last year, DEW sent 5,643 jobseekers through training to upgrade existing skills or learn a completely new trade.

If you’re looking for that next great hire, DEW has a portfolio of interested candidates. In 2014, more than 200,000 jobseekers have searched for work using SC Works Online Services.

Let DEW play matchmaker and save you money by putting an unemployed person back to work. Here are a few of the programs DEW offers to businesses interested in hiring unemployed jobseekers with barriers to employment.

  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) – This incentive compensates you for time spent training individuals for customized skill sets. The reimbursement period varies by the specific skill set you are training for. OJT will pay up to 90 percent of your new hire’s wages for up to 26 weeks.
  • Federal Bonding – Provides six months of free insurance protection against concerns you have about an applicant’s background. This program is valued at an average of $5,000 per individual.
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – Hire an individual from a targeted population and save on federal taxes. You must submit your tax credit request within 28 days of the worker’s start date. Employees must work at least 400 days before the tax credit can be claimed. WOTC can reduce your taxes anywhere between $2,400 and $9,600.
  • Apprenticeship Credit – State tax credits can be claimed annually for up to four years on a registered apprenticeship. This incentive averages about $1,000 per apprenticeship per year.

Visit dew.sc.gov to learn more about how DEW can match you with your new hire and connect you to the right cost-savings resources. Together, we can reduce unemployment and improve the quality of life for thousands of South Carolinians.

Third Quarter Wage Reports Due, 2015 Tax Rates Arriving Soon

Third quarter 2014 Wage and Contribution Reports are due Oct. 31 for wages earned July through September.

DEW offers two convenient methods for employers to file online through either SCBOS or the South Carolina Automated Tax System.

DEW encourages all single account filers to use SCBOS. Filing with SCBOS will also allow you to pay your taxes electronically. Please call 803.898.5690 or contact the SCBOS Help Desk if you need assistance navigating through the SCBOS system.

Fourth Quarter 2014 Wage and Contribution reports are due January 31, 2015.

Tax Rate Notices Arriving Soon

The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will be released during early November 2014. A Notice of Contribution Rate will be sent by mail detailing your individual tax rate. Remember, individual rates are based on an employer’s computed benefit ratio. The tax rate class assignment in the notice should be used for the full calendar year.

For more information, visit dew.sc.gov/UITax.

Spotlight on Retired Businessman Giving Back: Book Offers Real-World Job Search Advice

 

Frank Munson worked in a job he truly loved for more than 40 years.

That’s why he wants to help others land the jobs of their dreams.

A Columbia native and retired award-winning sales manager turned consultant, Munson co-authored “Getting the Right Job: A Personal Guide to Developing Your Career,” which was recently published by Pearson Learning Solutions.

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The book is being used this semester in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina in a course for juniors, seniors and graduate students, according to Munson. The book’s other authors are Moore School Distinguished Lecturer John Stern and Newberry College Associate Dean for Educational Services Jane Willis.

The trio combined their business and academic expertise to create the practical textbook that includes an online assessment tool based on The Birkman Method, which integrates behavioral, motivational and occupational data to predict behavior and work satisfaction across situations. The book walks the reader through his or her assessment results, job search preparation, networking, and interviewing.

Munson tested the process on an Emory University School of Law student, and the young man changed his perspective, viewing a job search as a sales opportunity.

“He realized , ‘I’ve got to go in and sell myself like I would sell a product,’” Munson said.

Munson originally envisioned the book as a tool for college students and recent grads but said he would highly recommend it to military service members looking for civilian jobs, unemployed and underemployed individuals and even employed people who are still looking for the right job that “nurtures their spirits.”

“A lot of people in business believe it’s just the bottom line, but you can have a nurturing atmosphere,” he said, reflecting on his career as a sales manager, speaking about colleagues and employees as if they were family members. “The hallmark of this book is that it nurtures the spirit.”

Spartanburg Veterans Featured on Fox Sports; Segment Highlights How They Got Hired

NASCAR Truck racing fans recently got the chance to learn about how newly-hired veterans make great hires in the civilian workforce.

Three Spartanburg veterans who found jobs thanks to help from the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) were spotlighted during the Careers for Veterans 200 broadcast in August on Fox Sports.

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Presented by the Cooper Standard Foundation and Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation , the race coverage featured Jeffery Nicholson, Joshua Klootwyk and Stafford Smith. They work at the Spartanburg Cooper Standard plant and all were referred to the company by DEW representatives.

In fact, Cooper Standard and DEW have forged a strong partnership during the past seven years.

“These guys are really good about getting vets, finding guys about to be discharged and forward thinking,” Cooper Standard Human Resources Manager Warren Snead said of DEW Spartanburg veterans’ staff Eric McAbee and John Lee.

Take Jeffery Nicholson, who retired last year after 20 years in the Coast Guard. This New Hampshire native wanted to retire in South Carolina and be close to family. He connected with McAbee, who assisted with a job search and referred him to Cooper Standard.

“He was so enthusiastic about helping me find a good job, one equivalent to what I did in service,” Nicholson said of McAbee. “It was a little tough at first, but he was always throwing something my way.”

Today, Nicholson is the second shift supervisor at Cooper Standard, where he oversees more than 55 people. He started as a production associate in September 2013 and three months later moved up to a team coordinator before getting the most recent promotion.

He said Cooper Standard welcomed him with open arms and provides a great working environment for veterans. The company in February formalized its commitment to hiring veterans at the urging of the National Association of Manufacturers and actor Gary Sinise, of “Forrest Gump” fame who started a foundation to help military service members, veterans and first responders. Cooper Standard partnered with NASCAR driver Keselowski, and in May the two announced they would sponsor the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The Careers for Veterans 200 further supports Cooper Standard’s mission to recruit and hire top talent at a national level.  According to company officials, since formalizing the veterans initiative earlier this year Cooper Standard has increased its veterans’ workforce by 16 percent.

In the Spartanburg facility, that success is due in part to the relationship between DEW veterans’ representatives and Snead.

“Most of the time we can get an interview right out of their office,” Snead said of McAbee and Lee. “I have even popped into their office… Eric and John and the folks in the DEW office in Spartanburg have done a remarkable job helping us field our expansion.”

He added with a laugh, “I should give them Cooper Standard business cards.”

A DEW veterans’ representative can help your business recruit qualified candidates and explain the advantages, including potential tax credits, for hiring veterans. Find a veterans representative near you here.

Read more about Cooper Standard’s Careers for Veterans here.

 

 

New Hire Reminder: It’s Never Too Late to Report

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) this summer sent notices to about 1,000 businesses reminding them to report newly hired or re-hired employees to the S.C. New Hire database.

Part of an ongoing campaign to generate awareness about new hire reporting, the letters were targeted to businesses that records showed may not have reported to the database.

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Not only is reporting your company’s new hires a legal requirement, it also benefit your organization’s bottom line. Accurate new hire data ultimately lowers S.C. businesses’ unemployment tax rates by helping to prevent unemployment insurance fraud.

DEW cross matches data from the S.C. New Hire directory with information in DEW’s unemployment benefits system. Comparing this data enables DEW to prevent fraud and identify people who are illegally collecting unemployment benefits while also being employed.

Research shows that the majority of all unemployment benefit overpayments are caused by claimants improperly collecting benefits after they have returned to work.

DEW educates claimants on the importance of stopping their claims when they begin work rather than when they collect their first paycheck.

However, the agency also encourage employers, like you, to report all new and rehired workers to the S.C. New Hire database at scnewhire.com.

For more information, visit dew.sc.gov/scnewhire.

September Packed Full of Job Fairs

When you think of September, you might think of football. But this month is also shaping up to be quite busy with job fairs. Check out the upcoming events happening throughout the state below. Also, visit dew.sc.gov/jobfairs for the most up-to-date listings and twitter.com/scworksinfo for hiring events happening every week at SC Works centers statewide.

Clemson JobLink Career Fair
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 16-17, 2014
12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Clemson University Littlejohn Coliseum
1 Avenue of Champions
Clemson, SC 29632
Phone: 864-656-6000
Open to students and the general public. Employers include those in engineering, technical, non-technical, business, and social services industries.
Event website

Kelly Services Job Fair
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte
1920 Ayrsley Twon Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28273
Phone: 704-510-0900
Event flyer

Worklink SCWorks Job Fair 
Friday, September 19, 2014
9:00am – 12:00pm
Tri County Technical College – Anderson Campus
511 Michelin Blvd, Anderson, SC 29625
Phone: 864-722-9267.
Event Flyer

Upper Savannah Job Fair
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Greenwood Mall
420 SC Hwy 72
Greenwood, SC 29649
Phone: 864-941-8050
Event website

SMX/Amazon Hiring Event 
Tuesday, September 30
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Bluff Road Armory, 1225 Bluff Road
Columbia, SC 29201
Through SMX, Amazon will be hiring for immediate warehouse positions. To qualify for an interview, job seekers MUST apply online before September 29 (Use job code 781S at apply.smjobs.com). Free drug test and background check; copy of high school diploma or GED required.

National college rankings report highlights several S.C. schools

The link between education and securing a good, high-paying job has often been a topic on this blog.

With that said, it’s a big week in the higher education world. The U.S. News and World Report National College Rankings were released Tuesday.

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The 2015 edition of Best Colleges includes data on approximately 1,800 schools nationwide to help parents and students evaluate their options. Eligible schools are ranked on up to 16 measures of academic excellence, according to the magazine.

Several S.C. schools made the grade, most notably the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, which was ranked No. 1 for international business.

Here are some other S.C. schools that ranked high in the report:

  • The Citadel, number four in the regional university category.  It also placed first in the South among public schools in the regional university category.
  • Claflin University, number nine in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities category.
  • Clemson University, number 20 in the public schools category.
  • The University of South Carolina-Aiken, first among public schools in the south in the regional college category.
  • Anderson University, first in best undergraduate teaching in the South among regional colleges.
  • Converse College, fifth in the South for best value among regional universities.

Explore the full report here.