HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reported nearly a 15% drop in the unemployment rate since May 2020.
As pandemic-related unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month, local businesses in the Grand Strand are hopeful that the shift could lead to an increase in job applicants.
“Everybody’s hurting,” said Duane Farmer, the general manager of Grand 14 Theatre. “If you have social media, everyone is complaining they don’t have enough staff.”
Pre-pandemic, Farmer had 45 employees working at the business. However, once the business reopened in November, that number quickly dropped.
Farmer tried to hold a job fair, however it wasn’t much of a success. He was only able to hire one person. He said now that he’s doing 40% to 50% of his normal business, he needs more.
Come next week when the unemployment rates expire, Farmer is hopeful that may change as people begin searching for jobs. He’s received five applications in the last week
Farmer isn’t the only local business owner who believes the expiration of these benefits will bring in new faces. Skywheel marketing and brand manager, Rachel Beckerman, is hoping for some new crew members as well.
“We really do hope with the benefits expiring we can see an increase in our recruitment and our applications but just like anything in 2020 and 2021 everything is unknown,” she said.