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Charleston Metro Area Anticipates Strong Job Growth

harleston Metro Area Anticipates Strong Job Growth

The Charleston job market is among the strongest in the nation heading into the final quarter of the 2016, according to a survey conducted by human resources consulting firm ManpowerGroup (  Nearly a third of employers plan to hire more employees this quarter, while just 4 percent say they will be reducing their staff. The Charleston metropolitan area ranks number sixth best among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas for job growth.

The survey results indicate employers are still confident in the region’s economic outlook following a number three ranking this summer.  The strong job growth is reflected in nearly every sector of the job market.  Unemployment in Charleston fell to 4.6 percent in July, and is the lowest of any area in South Carolina and below the nation’s unemployment rate. The ManpowerGroup survey indicates that nationwide, hospitality, retail, trade and transportation will be the fastest growing sectors for job growth.  Overall, 22 percent of employers in the United States plan to hire in the fourth quarter, as do 25 percent of South Carolina employers.

However, some sectors may find it difficult to follow through on hiring plans, according to Kip Wright, senior vice president of Manpower North America. “While employers are looking to grow their workforces, many are challenged to find candidates with the right skills,” he said. This is true especially in the Lowcountry’s fastest growing industries like construction and technology, as employers struggle to find qualified applicants.   This trend is apparent in other areas of the country as wage growth has been slow to pick up. “As the hiring outlook continues to improve, attracting and retaining skilled talent will become even more difficult,” according to Mr. Wright.

Frank Hefner, College of Charleston economist, reacted positively to the survey in the Post & Courier, despite hiring difficulties locally. He said that hiring plans are encouraging for the region’s economy. The survey results show local business is more optimist than other parts of the country. “There’s a reason for that,” Hefner said. “There’s certainly demand” in the Charleston job market for continued growth he added.

Source: “Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, United States, Q4 2016

Source: Post & Courier, “Survey: Charleston-area jobs outlook sixth-best in the nation,” Thad Moore, September 13, 2016

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