South Carolina Economy and Jobs
South Carolina was hit hard by the economic downturn and its unemployment rate at one time soared above 12%.
The good news is the rate has come down significantly in the past 12 months to it's current rate(April 2012) of 8.8 almost at the national rate of 8.1.
Among the things that hurt the South Carolina economy were drops in tourism, the real estate implosion, manufacturing layoffs and even drops in prices for its many agricultural and extractive industries.
Interestingly according to the April 2012 Department of Labor statistics, manufacturing is at the top of the list of industries on the climb at a 3.7 increase over the last 12 months. This increase far surpasses all other sectors.
Clearly in the current economic landscape it’s going to be a bit more challenging to find a job in South Carolina.
While South Carolina may be in recovery, keep in mind it will be quite a while before all industries return to the same levels of employment as four to five years ago.
The top sectors of the South Carolina economy that are coming back and have seen growth over the past 12 months:
- Manufacturing – Up 3.7
- Other Services – Up 1.7
- Information – Up 1.6
- Trade, Transportation and Utilities – Up 1.4
As we learned when we discussed the jobs and economy of North Carolina, if you're considering relocating or retiring to South Carolina and employment is a priority, where you decide is your best place to live in South Carolina is even more important.
If you're looking to be employed in your best place to live and I assume you are, although there are improvements in South Carolinas economy in some sectors this does not mean all cities/towns of South Carolina have experienced that same level of growth in overall employment or within specific sectors.
The cities below are showing the greatest amount of growth in employment and as you can see are well below the National Unemployment rate.
Other areas in South Carolina that are definitely showing growth but at a slower pace and are still higher than the National Unemployment rate are:
- Spartanburg, SC – 8.7
- Charlotte NC, Gastonia, Rock Hill SC – 9.6
- Sumter, SC - 9.8
- Myrtle beach, SC – 10.3
For more information about the specific industries showing growth in these and other areas in South Carolina visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I’m sure many of you have looked for a job at some point in your life but for those of you who haven’t or it's been a long time since you have, check out The Carolina Report – North Carolina Job Situation. In this Report there are at least five useful steps you can take in approaching a long-distance job search in either North Carolina or South Carolina.
From my perspective, the most important thing you can do when you start your job search is research, research, research! I’m not just saying that to keep you coming back to The Carolina Report for more info.
If you’re serious about relocating to South Carolina and living in Your best place and that dream hinges upon finding a job… make sure you do everything you can to know and understand what’s going on in your potential best place.
I find it helpful to go online and check out the local papers if they’re available (and most all are). Read about the industries in the area and if they can offer you the type of employment you want and are experienced at.
If you don't want to read the paper online, contact them directly and see if they’ll send you a copy. It's not only a great way to learn about jobs and industries but you will certainly learn more about the area.
Of course one of the best ways is taking the time to visit your potential best place as much as possible which will allow you to make inquiries and establish good relationships.
Building relationships and letting potential employers know you are serious about relocating will help you in your job search. Remember the experience you bring with you may be just what they are looking for as they continue to grow and the economy continues to improve. Maybe the perfect job for you doesn't exist today however, by the time you move to your best place to live it may be available.
We all know that visiting often can get very costly so be prepared to use every contact you have and every contact you make to your advantage. Keep in touch with the people you met in your travels.
And don’t forget about things like clubs or professional associations either.
And…with today's social and business networks like Linked In and Facebook, take full advantage of them and what they have to offer that may help you. Don't be shy!!!
I trust you have a better understanding of the economy in South Carolina and hopefully this week's Carolina Report has provided you with a general overview of what to expect in the South Carolina job market.
Don't Be discouraged!
Don't Get discouraged!
It may be challenging, it may take a bit of work and effort.
Remember…living life in your best place is worth it.
Here are some online resources to assist you:
South Carolina’s Virtual One Stop (www.sconestop.org):
For researching the SC job market this should be your first stop. Statistics, industry profiles, job search engines, job search advice…everything you need in a very useful package.
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (www.sces.org):
Good tools for research the state job market along with a lot of useful job search links.
Job Hunt.org/South Carolina (www.job-hunt.org/jobs/southcarolina.shtml):
Great list of SC job hunt resources including networking, state and local government and SC employer website links.
WIS TV Joblinks (http://www.wistv.com/global/category.asp?c=8278):
This Columbia, SC news station website is a good example of what you might find looking for local sources online.
Have a great week and we'll continue our discussion about jobs and the economic situation in NC and SC next week.
See you then,
About Bob Bencivenga
|Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations and has been researching the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.|
|Visit his blog The Carolina Report and sign up for FREE updates by email,his FREE Affordable Best Places To Live Report and, get FREE Expert Advice on how to find Your Best Place to Retire or Relocate to in North Carolina and South Carolina, additional resources, and a lot more.
Bob does not sell real estate.