SC unemployment rate falls below 5% in May

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 10:31 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 12:31 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina employment officials say the state’s unemployment rate fell below the 5% mark in May as 80,000 jobs wait to be filled.

South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce Director Dan Ellzey said Wednesday the state’s unemployment rate in May was 4.6%, down from 5% in April.

“While this is very good news, and it is exciting to see South Carolina’s workforce engine revving up again, there are more than 80,000 jobs available to people who will no longer be drawing the federal pandemic unemployment funds,” Ellzey said. “Individuals and families will need these jobs and employers are recruiting and anxious to hire.”

Ellzey referred to Gov. Henry McMaster’s deadline for federal unemployment benefits to end on June 30. That means, he said, the last week of unemployment paid under the federal PUA, PEUC, MEUC and FPUC programs will be the week of June 26.

“The SC Works system is brimming with opportunity,” Ellzey said. “There are workshops, job fairs, hiring events, skills assessments, and direct connections to local employers. They can help you find work like your previous job or they can look at your past experience and help you find new employment that uses your skills and strengths. The numbers say a lot. People are going back to work. Let SC Works help you be the next success story.”

Last week, the state reported the lowest total of first-time unemployment claims since the pandemic began.

SCDEW received only 1,710 claims for the week ending June 12. That marked the third straight week the total remained below 2,000.

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