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S.C. veteran unemployment down

Staff Report //March 28, 2018//

S.C. veteran unemployment down

Staff Report //March 28, 2018//

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South Carolina’s unemployment rates for veterans declined to 3.9% in 2017. The rate was at 5% at the end of 2016.

The 2017 report showed 182,000 veterans employed and 7,000 unemployed. Of the 417,000 veterans living in the state, 189,000, or 45.4%, participated in the labor market.

Nationally, the veteran unemployment rate fell from 4.3% to 3.7% in 2017.

Finding jobs for S.C. veterans is a top priority, said Department of Employment and Workforce executive director Cheryl Stanton.

“I am proud of the work that our veteran representatives are doing to help those who have served our country find honorable work across the state,” Stanton said in a statement. “They work closely with veterans to find the right fit and with businesses to determine their workforce needs and inform them about the advantages of hiring veterans.”

DEW’s efforts to find jobs for veterans include:

  • Local veterans’ employment representatives in SC Works centers build relationships with the business community and market veterans as great hires.
  • DEW staff serves veterans one-on-one.
  • DEW focuses on identifying and assisting individuals with barriers to employment. This includes helping veterans transition from a military way of communicating and coaching them on how to word resumes and answer interview questions to showcase their skills.

The agency also has partnered with the S.C. National Guard and launched Operation Palmetto Employment to increase the efficiency of the employment process for South Carolina’s military community.

In January, Gov. Henry McMaster proposed a tax cut that would exempt retirement benefits for veterans and first responders from state income tax. At the time of the announcement, 37,863 veterans in the state were eligible for the extension.

“Service members and public safety personnel often retire and move on to second careers,” S.C. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ted Pitts said at the event. “Our employers are looking for dependable, hardworking leaders to fill skilled positions, and the 45-year-old retired service member is an ideal candidate for these roles. While 23 states fully exempt military retirement benefits, South Carolina offers only a partial exemption, and we can do better.”