Gov. Henry McMaster announced, with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), that South Carolina's participation in federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefits, will be coming to an end, effective June 30th.
In a letter to Dan Ellzey, SC DEW Executive Director, McMaster references the labor shortage in South Carolina, along with the negative impact it has on SC businesses.
According to Gov. McMaster:
“South Carolina’s businesses have borne the brunt of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those businesses that have survived – both large and small, and including those in the hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors – now face an unprecedented labor shortage,”
McMaster credits the labor shortage to the federal supplemental unemployment benefits, which are provided on top of the state unemployment benefits.
"This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits. In many instances, these payments are greater than the worker’s previous pay checks. What was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace,"
The governor's directive will take effect, starting June 30th.
"At the current time, there are 81,684 open positions in the state of South Carolina. The hotel and food service industries have employee shortages that threaten their sustainability. However, no area of the economy has been spared from the pain of a labor shortage," said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Director Dan Ellzey. "While the federal funds supported our unemployed workers during the peak of COVID-19, we fully agree that reemployment is the best recovery plan for South Carolinians and the economic health of the state. Last week’s initial claims numbers were the lowest since the pandemic began, and employers around the state are eager to hire and anxious to get South Carolina back to business."