Some struggle to land jobs despite nationwide job growth in October

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The U.S. economy added 531,000 new jobs in October, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The report also showed a dip in unemployment from 4.8% to 4.6% nationwide. Erica Von Nessen, an economist with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), said the data is part of a continued growth of the labor market.

“If people want jobs, they are out there,” Von Nessen said.

She added that there is roughly one unemployed person in South Carolina per open position. Something not seen since before the pandemic.

“That’s really unprecedented,” Von Nessen said. “We did not see that all the way through the last expansion––right up until maybe the end of 2019 certain industries were getting to that position, but this really is the best jobs market for a worker that we’ve seen in many decades.”

Von Nessen said demand for workers across the state is high, meaning we’re experiencing a “tight” labor market.

While lots of jobs are available, they have not been necessarily easy to land, according to Ian Chandler.

“Every couple days I’d put in applications to all kinds of different fields: landscaping, fast food, cook work and just nobody was actually contacting me back,” Chandler said. “That went on, and I was out of a job for three or four months.”

Chandler said not having a job for those months put him in a tough financial situation that kept snowballing. After months of searching, he finally found work as a technician at Precision Tune Auto Care near Myrtle Beach.

“It’s a relief that’s hard to describe in words because I just knew that as soon as I got the job I was going to be able to get my finances back up,” Chandler said.

Friday was Chandler’s fourth day at his new job.

Ellen Whitley, on the other hand, started her job search three weeks ago. Whitley’s sent out 12 applications so far looking for a jobs as a server.

“I haven’t had a lot of responses,” Whitley said. “I’ve been putting out feelers. I’ve been hunting every single day, like beating the pavement, filling out applications.”

Whitley said part of what makes the job search more difficult is that so many other people are going through it at the same time.

“Yeah, I feel the competition,” Whitley said. “I’m just one of many, and you’ve just got to find what makes you special.”

News13 has a list of job openings here.

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