Unemployment continues upward trend in Horry Co.

By Chandi Lowry

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The unemployment rate in Horry County is rising, but at the Coastal Workforce Center there are some construction jobs available.

The unemployment rate in Horry County is 16.5 percent.

"Month after month after month of high unemployment and listening to sad stories, it just breaks your heart and I was like 'Oh no, it's not getting better,'" Mary Nell Smith, an employee at the Coastal Workforce Center, said.

Julienne Butkus is experiencing disappointment and shock because she lost her job of 15 years on Wednesday.

"I was in shock because I'm a single parent and just purchased a house and I have three kids and I have no family to take care of them," said Butkus.

Smith said she thinks the rate soared because in December holiday jobs were available and then when the month was over, companies laid off the positions.

Smith said although unemployment is high, there's a spike in construction jobs, which hasn't happened in close to two years. There are 60 openings available in construction. The projects include work on several schools, libraries and municipal buildings in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.

Smith said  more jobs will follow in the coming months.

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