SC among states having the most trouble finding workers. Here’s where it ranks and why

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South Carolina is one of the hardest places in the U.S. for some businesses to find enough employees to work, a new study shows.

According to the latest WalletHub study, South Carolina has had the seventh highest percentage of job openings among the states in May. The study shows South Carolina’s rate of job openings was 8.3% in May, placing it just behind West Virginia at 8.4%.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was used to determine and rank the number of job openings for each state.

South Carolina’s hiring woes are part of the nationwide Great Resignation, which has been ongoing since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs and experienced financial struggles because of unemployment. Now, it is employers who are struggling to fill jobs.

Miren Ivankovic, adjunct professor of economics at Clemson University, said there have been several reasons why businesses in states like South Carolina have had trouble filling positions.

“Simply put, there is a mismatch in the supply of labor and demand for labor based on set of skills,” Ivankovic said. “For example, South Carolina needs automakers and plane makers, but if the available pool of labor does not have these skills, there is a shortage of labor.”

Ivankovic said another reason for the hiring issues is not so much that people won’t work, but that they found different jobs.

“Some individuals realized that the labor market is “hot” and they can get a better deal somewhere else,” he said. “This is called frictional unemployment since they resign and then shop for a better job.”

Ivankovic noted that the shortage of labor will cause an upward pressure on wages, which, while would be welcomed by the labor force, might not be as good as it sounds right now.

“Increasing wages during current inflationary times is not a welcomed event,” he said. “This can accelerate current inflation and practically reduce real incomes.”

Here are the 10 states that have the highest percentage of job openings for May.

  1. Alaska: 8.4%

  2. Kentucky: 8.7%

  3. Georgia: 8.4%

  4. Montana: 8.3%

  5. Iowa: 8.7%

  6. West Virginia: 8.4%

  7. South Carolina: 8.3%

  8. Illinois: 8.4%

  9. Minnesota: 8.3%

  10. Vermont: 8%