The Local Job Front

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October 6, 2005
South Carolina is scoring poorly on its job growth. A new report ranks the Palmetto State 50th in the nation. News 12 is on your side with how it could impact your job hunt.

It’s a Thursday afternoon at Aiken’s Workforce Center. Ellis Dehavan has a few leads on welding jobs.

“I may have to drive to Columbia everyday,” Dehavan said.

Inside, Edwina Bing looks for listings online.

“I really want a job but I really want to drive trucks so hopefully I’ll find something,” Bing said.

It’s a positive outlook on a job market getting not so positive reviews. A new report says South Carolina’s job growth ranks 50th in the nation, recently have lost thousands of manufacturing jobs with some layoffs hitting too close to home in Aiken County. Avondale Mills cut 300 jobs and SRS is letting go of 2,000. It’s where Edwina’s gotten her paycheck from for the last 12 months.

“I was an LSE laborer. It’s like whatever they wanted me to do, I was there to do it,” Bing said.

But interim director of the Chamber of Commerce Cindy Senkowsky sees a silver lining in the dark unemployment cloud. She’s spoken with former SRS employees now looking to start up businesses.

“They come in, they get business counseling, they learn how to start a business starting with a business plan,” Senkowsky said.

A plan Ellis hopes he can structure for himself – McCook Steel only temporary – his line of work, he says, is season and unsteady.

“We sort of got close to being done and they let a few of us go,” Dehavan said.

“I just want something permanent because they last couple of jobs were temporary,” Bing said.

For now, they’re left tackling a tough job market one application at a time.

The state of Georgia ranked 47th, not much better than South Carolina. While none of its major cities saw significant job growth, Augusta is one of five metropolitan areas that has suffered some job losses. Also, Atlanta employment levels could change due to its largest private employer, Delta Airlines, going bankrupt.