S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce releases Lifeboat Job information | Business

One of the first industries to close their doors due to COVID-19 also happened to be one of the state’s largest employers, the hospitality and accommodation industry.

Now, as businesses continue to reopen with measured health protocols, there’s no surprise this industry is in-demand and ready to hire.

DEW’s Labor Market Information (LMI) team has pulled and analyzed data from more than 45,000, non-seasonally adjusted, job postings in the state to identify the most in-demand industries and jobs available right now.

“We wanted to provide real-time, practical information that someone can run with and begin earning a paycheck almost immediately. If someone has experience in the hospitality or accommodation industry, they already have the skills needed to step into these roles right now. While they’re in these positions, new skills they learn can help propel them into a higher-paying job once the economy fully rebounds. We know the need for financial stability is something a lot of people are searching for right now and we really hope that highlighting in-demand occupations can be helpful for jobseekers,” said Brian Nottingham, DEW’s Director of the LMI/Business Intelligence Division.

Retail Industry jobs

As more businesses reopen safely, in person shopping and face to face transactions are back in demand.

“There is nothing more unsettling than when you have financial instability” said Brian Nottingham, DEW’s Director of the LMI/Business Intelligence Division. “We know there are a lot of South Carolinians and their families who are still struggling to find their footing during this pandemic so we wanted to highlight additional opportunities from an in-demand industry that you can look to as the economy continues to recover.

“If you have experience in customer service, critical thinking and active listening, there are a lot of opportunities within the retail industry; one of which could be the lifeboat that helps you survive this economic storm,” Nottingham said. “Aside from earning a paycheck right away, you can also gain experience and learn new skills that can be leveraged further down the road to land a higher paying job. This is a win-win.”

Healthcare Industry Jobs

“Sometimes in these moments where we are forced to pause and re-evaluate, it could be the perfect time to consider looking at certifications and degrees that could leverage you onto a new path with high paying opportunities” Nottingham said. “The pandemic has without a doubt disrupted so many industries, including the healthcare industry.

“Not all of them will require additional education or certifications, but some will” Nottingham said. “We wanted to provide roles you can step into immediately or within a short period of time. Healthcare workers are critical for our state and we hope focusing on the opportunities available right now, can bring some hope to people out there who are searching for it.”

Lifeboat jobs in the Healthcare I, include potential career paths as a licensed practical nurse, vocational nurse, registered nurse (RN), nursing assistant, medical or health service manager.

Transportation and Logistics Industry

“When it comes to getting goods to where they need to be, the Transportation and Logistics Industry Sector is the critical component of the supply chain that keeps our economy moving” Nottingham said. “Workers in this industry help keep the shelves stocked at our favorite stores, with essential and non-essential goods alike.

“Not only are we seeing an increase in job postings in the state as consumer demand rebounds from COVID-19,it’s also important to understand the long-term trend toward a labor shortage in many of our nation’s skilled trade industries due to an aging workforce,” Nottingham said. “For example, according to the American Trucking Association, the current, pre-COVID labor shortage in the U.S. trucking industry (in terms of unfilled positions) is roughly 60,000 drivers. The demand we are seeing is not temporary, in fact we expect to see a growth of more than 13% in the industry over the next 10 years.”

According to the South Carolina Trucking Association:

79.8% of South Carolina communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods.

There are more than 7,900 trucking companies located in South Carolina – primarily small, family-owned businesses.

82% of total manufactured tonnage (goods) are transported by trucks in the state.

Jobs in this sector include heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers, laborers in freight, stock and material movers, order fillers, wholesale and retail sales or as a stock clerk.

Manufacturing industry

“The Manufacturing Industry is one of our state’s largest sectors” Nottingham said.

“According to the South Carolina Manufacturing Alliance, approximately 12-percent of all South Carolinians were employed in the manufacturing sector in recent years.

“That’s huge,” Nottingham said “Not only is the industry a major employer, it’s a major contributor to the state’s Gross State Product (GSP), producing $35.16 Billion each year. That equates to nearly 17% of the state’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means that this industry is going to continue to be a top contender in our state for employment opportunities. If you’re looking for sustainable work opportunities, getting experience in the Manufacturing Industry is a very viable career opportunity.”

Jobs in the Manufacturing Industry, include potential career paths as a General & Operations Manager, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Sales Representative Wholesale & Manufacturing and Maintenance & Repair Workers.

Information Computer


“If you are technically or technologically inclined, the Information and Computer Science industry is a fantastic sector to consider” Nottingham said. “These are high paying positions with only a bachelor’s degree typically required. Entry level positions can range from $45,000 – $61,000, but the average salary is around $85,000. Not only that, but the growth of these occupations are expected to increase 10% to 36% over the next decade. If you enjoy solving complex problems and using critical thinking skills, this is a field you should consider joining.

“Lifeboat Jobs for the Information & Computer Science Industry, include potential career paths as a Software Quality Assurance Tester, Computer Systems Engineers Architect, Geographic Information Systems Technician or Software Developer of Applications,” Nottingham said.

Other Lifeboat industries include

The Support and Customer Service Industry and the Construction Industry.

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