McMaster orders DEW to end federal pandemic benefits for the unemployed

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Governor Henry McMaster has ordered that federally supported pandemic unemployment funds be stopped. He’s hoping this helps get South Carolinians back to work.

The Department of Employment and Workforce estimates more than 81,000 jobs are available across South Carolina. Businesses in Greenville are looking to hire but can’t seem to find help.

“We’re going into season, need to hire, there’s nothing out there to hire and even if you don’t set up interviews they don’t show up for the interviews,” Karen Williams, who owns the Creme Shack in Greenville, said.

She says many applicants never show up to interviews.

“They don’t want to work. They’d rather sit home and get the extra $300 a week. Even though like for here they could make more money than that in a week’s time,” Williams said.

Julie Brown owns a staffing agency in Greenville and says she agrees with the Governor’s order.

“There’s a lot of sources of income for people who might choose to stay home rather than to work, and businesses are really suffering,” Brown said.

She says more businesses are hiring than ever, but the number of job searchers is what’s concerning.

“The number of people coming into us looking for work is really not tying to what unemployment figures are showing,” Brown said.

The DEW saying in a statement “…we fully agree that reemployment is the best recovery plan for south carolinians and the economic health of the state.”

Brown believes ending the federal benefits will help.

“It gives you no incentive to go back to work and our businesses need that,” she said.

She says all kinds of businesses from food service, to health care, and law offices are all hiring with wages higher than usual.

“People are hiring and those wages are going up, so it really is a great time to go back to work,” Brown said.

Those federally supported pandemic unemployment benefits will end in the final week of June.

A White House official tells 7News that nationwide, the economy is still down more than 8-million jobs since before the pandemic.

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