Employers worried state job search requirement isn’t enough to get people back to work

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The state requirement of completing two job searches each week for those receiving unemployment benefits is underway in South Carolina and local businesses are concerned.

The State Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) told News13 the latest move is an effort to get even more people back to work. However, SCDEW isn’t requiring claimants to apply for jobs weekly which is concerning for some employers.

“We’ve needed four cooks for two months,” said Mel Goodman, manager at Dagwood’s Deli & Sports Bar in Surfside Beach. Goodman expects to the demand of customers to increase this summer.

Filling out job applications isn’t required by state law and Goodman said that just not enough.

“If they just have to go online and act like they’re looking for work that’s one thing, but if they have to physically go out and go places that’s different,” Goodman said.

The weekly job search requirement isn’t new. It was suspended for the last 13 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Because of the unemployment rate that’s been going down more and more people are going back to work,” Heather Biance with SCDEW said.

“It was definitely time to put this measure back into place,” Biance said.

She explained there are currently over 116,000 South Carolinians receiving weekly benefits of about $230, plus $300 weekly supplement.

Bringing back this requirement, Biance said will encourage folks to apply for work before it’s too late.

“These programs are going to go away at some point,” she said. As of now, federal benefits are extended through September.

Goodman, whose employees are already overwhelmed said by that time, it will be too late.

“When everyone gets off unemployment in September, there aren’t going to be any jobs available because the tourist season is over,” Goodman explained.

There are over 75,000 jobs needed to be filled in South Carolina. SCDEW explains how claimants can receive credit for weekly job searches in a tutorial video or view the steps online, which is also offered in Spanish.

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