South Carolina’s latest unemployment rate bumped up slightly, even though there are thousands of jobs open. That’s according to the state’s newly-restructured workforce department. Peggy Torre, a top official with the Department of Employment and Workforce says there are now 47, 329 job openings in South Carolina, including Columbia with 14,107; Charleston with more than 8,000; and Greenville with more than 7,000.
So why are people not taking these jobs? Torre says that is a question they’d like answered.
We are really trying to focus very hard on ways that we can better engage the unemployed in re-employment. So we are actually looking at an electronic means of notifying people when there is a comparable job to one that they left, open. We are building that as we speak. We are also looking at ways to ensure that the people that are making claims are searching for work.
Torre is a deputy executive director at the Department of Employment and Workforce. She has moved into leadership at the newly-restructured agency. She says in a short period of time, they have added efficiency. That includes making separate operations work together. An example:
We have combined the job search piece and the Workforce Investment Act (federal funding) piece –the training and counseling piece— into one database. We have also built an overlay from that consolidated database to the unemployment database. So all of that information is flowing back and forth now and it is really helpful.
John Finan, the new director of the D.E.W. says there is also training for some of the open jobs out there. Torre adds, “If you are not currently equipped to fill one of those jobs, if there are education gaps, there is money to help you with that.”