HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – For people out of a job, a part-time solution may not be the long-term goal. But in Horry County, there are more job opportunities than seekers, and many of them are part-time.
It's a quick fix and may be more of a national trend employers are moving to. The job market in Horry County has turned around in the last year-and-a-half, according to Billie Baggett, who owns IHT Staffing, a temporary employment agency.
Baggett says five years ago, there were no jobs. Now, they don't have enough seekers. And the demand is greater for part-time employees, it's the nature of the industry here.
This matches numbers released from the Department of Labor, which says last month was the most successful month for the job market in almost 6 years.
Another number also jumped – the number of part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs. Baggett says people shouldn't be worried about only find part-time jobs, though.
Her company consistently has around 400 employers looking for workers. If people really want to work, she says, there's a job. And the market is actually booming. Even if the idea of part-time is what job-seekers want, it shouldn't discourage them.
"What we're seeing is that they like to try people on a temporary basis as a part-time person, as well as temporary," Baggett said. "And then, depending upon how they work, they'll go ahead and hire them on a full-time basis."
Baggett says the job market in Horry County is the best it's been in a long time. And it isn't just hospitality and tourism; it's clerical, professional, construction and more.
Another trend is local employers seeking out more part-time work than normal. The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with at least 50 employees to provide health insurance to people who work at least 30 hours a week.
Baggett says many small local businesses simply can't afford it, and because of the Affordable Care Act requirements, many businesses are turning to part-time labor.
She says small businesses across the region have seen a significant change. They just can't afford to provide insurance for their workers.
"I would say 90 percent of our employers, businesses today, are hiring part-time as opposed to full-time because of the Affordable Care act. It's not something that a corporation wants to do," Baggett said.