MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina is one of the top states struggling to hire workers.

One reason might be because the state ranks the most severe in worker shortages. How bad is that shortage?

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are nearly 170,000 job openings across the state, but only 73,000 unemployed workers.

South Carolina has a 57% labor force participation rate, lower than the national average of 63%.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also reports that South Carolina has 43 available workers for every 100 jobs, making it more severe than other states, like New Jersey, that has 84.

Myrtle Beach welcomes thousands of tourists each year and relies partly on its hospitality and city workers.

City spokesman Mark Kruea says like many other towns and cities across the Grand Strand, it’s dealt with its share of hiring struggles.

“COVID-19, post the great resignation, I think everybody is still struggling to fill positions,” he said. “And then once you find somebody, you’ve got to keep them, so retention is apart of the picture too.”

Kruea said the city has an 11% employment vacancy rate. He said jobs like police officers and paramedics are in high-demand and the city has to compete to make hires.

“Everybody needs those positions, you know, the community is growing so we need more of them,” he said. “But so does everybody else.”

Kruea said the city has used resources like job fairs, visits to college campuses and the internet. However, other cities and towns increased their salaries and benefits, so Myrtle Beach has had to find ways to get creative.

“We’ll offer a $4,000 relocation bonus to help you cover moving expenses if you’re coming from outside of Horry County to come to a job here in the city of Myrtle Beach,” he said.

He said without a full staff, it can be hard on current employees.

“Without full staffing, everybody else has to work harder to fill the void, to make up for the difference. So, if we can get to the full staffing point or if a restaurant can get to a full staffing point, everybody else can breathe a slight sigh of relief and only work the normal amount of hours, not twice the normal amount of hours,” Kruea said.

For a full list of available jobs along the Grand Strand, click here.

* * *

Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.