Jobless rate continues down for SC veterans

May 10, 2019 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s unemployment rate for veterans continues to fall.

South Carolina’s annual unemployment rate for veterans declined to 3.3 percent in 2018, Gov. Henry McMaster’s office announced Wednesday. The rate is down from 3.9 percent in 2017, which is a 15.4 percent drop in the rate year-over-year, and a further decrease from the 5 percent unemployment rate in 2016.

The Palmetto State’s veteran unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

The national unemployment rate for veterans – men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were not on active duty at the time of this yearly survey by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) – was 3.5 percent in 2018.

“There is no state more committed to the men and women who sacrificed everything to serve in the line of duty than South Carolina,” McMaster said. “The fact that they are benefiting from our state’s growing economy, along with the rest of our citizens, is news that we can all celebrate. With Director Ellzey’s experienced leadership, I’m confident that DEW [the Department of Employment and Workforce] and the statewide SC Works system will continue to connect these heroes with potential employers.”

“I am honored to be appointed executive director of this important cabinet agency, and, as I join DEW, I am proud to see the positive outcomes of our statewide partnerships and the work of our Disabled Veteran Outreach Program representatives and Local Veteran Employment Representatives as they help those who have served our country find honorable work across the state,” said G. Daniel “Dan” Ellzey, the executive director of the Department of Employment and Workforce. “Their focus to find the right fit for veterans and their relationship with businesses to determine their workforce needs and inform them about specific advantages of hiring veterans is making a difference. South Carolina is seeing the benefits of this effort.”

The department delivers employment assistance to veterans including local veteran employment representatives in SC Works centers throughout the state who engage the business community to cultivate relationships and market veterans and one-on-one priority service with department staff. And the department also helps veterans transition from a military way of communicating to a civilian one.

There is also a department partnership with the South Carolina National Guard, called Operation Palmetto Employment, to streamline and increase the employment process from active duty to civilian life for South Carolina’s military community.