(WFXG) - Wednesday, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) launched the South Carolina Labor Force Participation Task Force: an effort to dig into what drives the state’s labor force participation rate so that organizations and stakeholders statewide can create data-driven solutions. The Department of Employment and Workforce says the task force is a collaboration with the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, state agencies, businesses, and institutes of higher education.

The Task Force is comprised of various leaders from academia, research, and business who have united to conduct a multifaceted analysis of South Carolina’s labor market. Members of the Task Force include:

  • Dr. Aspen Gorry, Clemson University
  • Dr. Orgul Ozturk, University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Frank Hefner, College of Charleston
  • Dr. Laura Ullrich, Federal Reserve
  • Ron Hetrick, EMSI
  • Dr. Chris Chmura, Chmura Economics
  • Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter
  • Dr. Kory Kantenga, LinkedIn
  • John Uprichard, CEO, Find Great People
  • Frank Rainwater, Executive Director, S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office
  • Dr. Mike Mikota, President, Spartanburg Community College
  • Dr. Bryan Grady, Labor Market Information Director, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
  • Dr. Erica Von Nessen, Research Economist, S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce

“South Carolina has recovered strongly from the challenges caused by COVID-19 and we have record numbers of people working in the state. If we look at quit, resignation, and hire rates within the state, we see people shifting between jobs and trying new careers,” states DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey. “However, with more than 100,000 posted jobs in the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) database, businesses are still struggling from staff shortages and our labor force participation rate is one of the lowest in the nation. A higher participation rate increases the wealth of a state. We need to know the root causes of our low participation rate before we can truly make any improvements. This is why the Task Force is so critical at this time.”

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