South Carolina’s Employment Situation — November 2012

For the fourth consecutive month, South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped—to 8.3 percent in November from the October estimate of 8.6 percent.

The number of unemployed people fell over the month by 6,434 to 176,953. There was a rise in the number of employed people, up 9,758 to 1,964,377.   The total labor force ticked up slightly (+3,324) to 2,141,330. The unemployment rate has fallen 1.5 percentage points since November 2011.

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South Carolina Chosen to Help Lead Nation’s Initiative to Prevent Unemployment Fraud

South Carolina has been selected to help lead the nation’s efforts to improve Unemployment Insurance (UI) integrity commonly known as fraud and overpayment prevention.

The Palmetto State is one of five states chosen to serve on the steering committee for the newly formed UI Integrity Center of Excellence, which is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

Led by the New York Department of Labor, the Center of Excellence was created to identify promising techniques for deterring unemployment fraud, serve as a clearinghouse for information about fraud schemes and develop training and technology to help states share solutions and strategies.

“It is truly an honor to have been asked to serve on this national team along with Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington,” said Abraham J. Turner, executive director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). “We look forward to working with our sister workforce agencies throughout the nation to tackle the issue of unemployment fraud head on and improve overall program integrity.”

DEW also was recently awarded $1.8 million from the Department of Labor to focus on fraud prevention and integrity promotion activities.

The grant provides funding for a series of projects designed to update technology and business processes therefore reducing the potential for error. These projects include:

  • Detecting workers who are misclassified as independent contractors or employees;
  • Automating eligibility and work search review processes;
  • Modernizing the appeals system through an updated case management system;
  • Creating an agency-wide team to improve fraud identification and prevention as well as collecting overpayments;
  • Automating tax processes to reduce paper and manual work; and,
  • Investing in software to detect employer fraud.

Important Information for Claimants: Federal and State Benefits Update

Due to the ongoing budget negotiations in Congress, if you are currently receiving unemployment benefits through the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, you should be aware that Congress may not extend the EUC program.

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SC Works provides workshops and classes for all your job-seeking needs

Did you know that SC Works centers in each of the 12 Workforce Investment Areas offer a variety of classes and workshops for jobseekers? Workshops are free and open to the public. Check out the list below to see what is offered in your area.

SC Works Worklink
Workshop page:
The Anderson, Seneca and Liberty SC Works centers offer several workshops to aid jobseekers in their job search at three Tri-County Technical College locations as well as the SC Works centers.

SC Works Upper Savannah
Workshop page:
Jobseekers in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, and Saluda counties can improve job search skills by attending workshops, networking groups and an informational course about the services available through the Workforce Investment Act.

SC Works Upstate
Workshop page:
The Upstate Workforce Investment Area provides job seekers of Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties a wide array of career planning, education and employment services.

SC Works Greenville
Workshop page:
SC Works Greenville offers a variety of workshops for jobseekers. Sessions are free and range from resume writing to personal branding.

SC Works Midlands
Workshop page:
Jobseekers in Winnsboro, Lexington and Columbia can take advantage of numerous workshops offered including an upcoming series on computer literacy and Microsoft Office software.

SC Works Trident
Workshop page:
Charleston, Berkley and Dorchester jobseekers can learn about barriers to employment, resume writing, networking and even how to use SC Works Online Services as an asset to their job search.

SC Works PeeDee
Workshop page:
Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion and Marlboro county jobseekers can take advantage of free assistance with resume development, computer software tutorials and employability workshops.

SC Works Lower Savannah
Workshop page:
Residents of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, and Orangeburg counties can attend interview workshops and receive resume writing assistance. Contact your local center for dates and times. Find contact information here.

SC Works Catawba
Workshop page:
Several workshops are offered to individuals who are actively seeking re-employment in Lancaster, Chester and Rock Hill. These workshops are designed to prepare jobseekers for all aspects of the employment process. Depending on the demand, workshops are conducted weekly.

SC Works Santee-Lynches
Workshop page:
Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter residents can take advantage of  workshops on a wide range of topics from conducting a job search to filling out an application and interviewing and resume writing to job readiness.

SC Works Waccamaw
Workshop page:
Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg county residents should contact their respective centers for a full list of workshops and times. View contact information here.

SC Works Lowcountry
Workshop page:
Jobseekers in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties can improve job search skills by attending free workshops, networking groups and an informational course about the services available through the Workforce Investment Act.

Conduct This Week’s Online Work Search Before 5 p.m. Nov. 29

Due to routine system upgrades, SC Works Online Services will not be available from 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1.

The site is expected to be back online the morning of Sunday, Dec. 2.

If you are an Unemployment Insurance claimant, please make plans to conduct your weekly online work search before 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29 in order to receive payment for the week.

These upgrades will result in an improved product designed to best meet your needs in an efficient, top-quality manner.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.