Palmetto State Receives High Marks for Its Small Business-Friendly Environment

South Carolina ranks as the nation’s second most economical place for small businesses to hire new employees, according to a recent report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com.

The Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey gave the Palmetto State an A+ in the cost of hiring new employees and ranked the state 16th overall in having a small business-friendly environment.

South Carolina also received an A+ in friendliness towards small businesses when it comes to health and safety regulations and ranked third in the nation in this category.

Small businesses said licensing requirements were nearly twice as important as tax-related regulations in determining overall business-friendliness, according to the survey. Another important predictor of small business friendliness was whether owners were aware of the state or local government offering training programs for small businesses.

S.C. business owners can take advantage of On-the-Job Training programs through the S.C. Department of Workforce and SC Works.

Find out more about this program that allows employers to design tailored training programs and receive reimbursement for up to 90 percent of a new employee’s wages.

The Thumbtack.com survey also found that women-owned small businesses in the Palmetto State were more optimistic about their financial futures than their male counterparts.

“Female entrepreneurs were 15 percent more likely than male entrepreneurs to rate their companies’ financial situation as likely to improve over the coming year,” the report said.

Thumbtack.com surveyed 6,022 small businesses across the United States. The survey asked questions about the friendliness of states towards small business and about small business finances in order to measure states and cities along 21 metrics. Read the full report here.

Online Job Postings Grow in South Carolina, Nation During April

The number of job vacancies advertised online increased nationwide and in South Carolina during April.

The growth by 90,900 postings in the United States marks the fifth consecutive monthly increase, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted Online Data Series released today.

The Palmetto State saw a rise of 400 more job postings while the South gained 35,800 advertised vacancies.

Job seekers might want to look at office and administrative support or sales. Those groups both posted gains this month. In April, office and administrative support occupations increased by 21,000 posted vacancies because of higher demand for customer service representatives, supervisors and managers.

An increase in demand for retail salespeople and managers drove an overall growth of 13,000 posted vacancies in the sales field.

Though the number of advertised vacancies in the healthcare area fell in April, there are still 2.3 job openings for every job seeker in this field.

The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series measures the number of new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month on more than 1,000 major Internet job sites and smaller job sites.

The Conference Board notes that this series is not a direct measure of job vacancies, and the level of ads in print and online can change for reasons not related to overall job demand.

For a complete look at the April data, visit http://www.conference-board.org/data/helpwantedOnline.cfm.

South Carolina’s Employment Situation: March 2012

 Unemployment Rate Below 9.0 Percent for the First Time in More Than Three Years

The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in March, down from 9.1 percent in February. This is the eighth consecutive month the rate has declined and is the first time in more than three years that the rate has been below 9.0 percent.

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S.C. Business, Industry leaders Discuss Training at DEW Roundtable Event

Training was the main topic during the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce’s (DEW) first Business Roundtable event held April 18 in Columbia.

Representatives from Palmetto State businesses and industry associations voiced their need to fill the gap between available jobs and a highly qualified workforce. Jobs in fields ranging from agriculture and forestry to healthcare and manufacturing have one thing in common. They are increasingly requiring workers skilled in operating high-tech equipment.

S.C. business and industry leaders discuss training needs at the SC Department of Employment and Workforce's first Business Rountable event.

Abraham J. Turner, DEW executive director, offered overviews of a variety of programs and partnerships that could help S.C. businesses including on-the-job training initiatives and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.  Turner created the Business Roundtable as a way to inform employers about DEW initiatives and gather feedback.

“This is about sharing and communicating,” Turner said. “I can assure you that not one topic that was brought up here has fallen on deaf ears. The system should be a system that is responsive to businesses and the citizens of this state.”

Turner also discussed how DEW could assist the state’s 97,000 small businesses by offering recruitment services, matching job candidates with openings and helping set up on-the-job training programs. These business owners, who are busy maintaining productivity, often do not have full-service human resources departments. DEW and SC Works offer a range of business services to help small firms with these needs.

DEW will host monthly Business Roundtable sessions. The next one is scheduled for May 23 at DEW’s C. Lem Harper building in Columbia.

 

State Agencies Partner to Provide Employment and Training Services to Work-Eligible Program Participants

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) and the SC Department of Social Services (DSS) today announced a partnership to ultimately improve the employability and overall quality of life for participants in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Spring clean your job search

Spring is officially here.

Flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, baseball season is back and it’s time to start your spring cleaning. But organizing your closet and social calendar shouldn’t be the only two tasks listed on your spring to-do list.

If you’re looking for employment, now is a great time to give your job-seeking strategy a breath of fresh air.

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