Working in South Carolina

Working in South Carolina

South Carolina is called the "Palmetto State." The name is derived from the official state tree, the Sabal palmetto. The state has some of the most expansive, white beaches on the Atlantic Ocean making it a popular vacation destination for northerners.

Golfers and retirees are particularly drawn to Hilton Head Island which is famous for its national U.S. Open Golf tournaments. Many homes and retirement communities sit on manicured landscapes of golf courses.

South Carolina is a no union state. Many large companies have moved their headquarters to the Palmetto State due to the fact that human resources are inexpensive.

Wages are relatively low for temporary workers in the Southern states compared with the rest of the country. Low wages, plus the ability to avoid the costs of health insurance and other benefits reserved for full-time company workers, makes doing business in South Carolina attractive.

Staffing companies are plentiful as well. Especially with the move towards home healthcare, placement agencies specializing in medical recruitment, visiting nurses, physical therapists and personal care aides are thriving.

The service sector makes up over 80% of the workforce. Manufacturing jobs still account for about 15% of the gross state product. However, like Virginia and North Carolina, tobacco is the number one crop. Its agrarian future and the businesses that make tobacco products are always in flux due to negative publicity campaigns, health reports, and taxation issues.

Over the past twelve months, the Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Professional and Business Services, and Leisure and Hospitality sectors added the most jobs, respectively. Online job advertisements in June 2012 were greatest for Retail, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Professional and Technical industries.

The occupations with the greatest available positions were registered nurses, heavy and tractor-trailer drivers, and retail salespersons. The occupational groups with the most openings were Healthcare Practitioners and Technical, Sales and related jobs, and Management.

The companies with the most advertised jobs in South Carolina are BI-LO, LLC, Suppressed, Family Dollar Stores, Inc., Food Lion, and McDonald's Corporation.

Since the height of the recession in 2008, online job openings in South Carolina have shown increases each year. Projections through 2018 estimate the occupations with the greatest demand for workers will be registered nurses, retail salespersons, and customer service representatives.


Columbia is the state capital as well as South Carolina's largest city. The unemployment rate for the Columbia metropolitan statistical area is 8.4%. The average annual salary is $47,000/yr. The largest employers in the Charleston area are Trident Technical College, South Carolina Natural Resources Department, Verizon Wireless, Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Health Finders Consult-A-Nurse.


The unemployment rate for the Charleston metropolitan statistical area is 7.9%. The average annual salary is $44,000/yr. The largest employers in Charleston are Piggly Wiggly, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Berkeley County School District, Robert Bosch, LLC, and Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

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