COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Wages are continuing to rise even as record numbers of South Carolinians quit their jobs.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) said numbers show that the resignations were more of a transition from one job to another than a mass exodus out of the workforce.

The DEW said an estimated 90,000 workers quit their jobs in March 2022 in South Carolina, which is a record, however 122,000 were hired in the same month.

“The presence of 189,000 job openings, representing a 37 percent increase from one year prior, no doubt contributed to this churn,” said DEW Labor Market Information Director Dr. Bryan Grady.

New data from the DEW show that average weekly earnings in South Carolina are up 9.2% across the state from April 2020 to April 2022.

The average private sector worker made $950.37 per week in April 2022.

The two employment sectors with the highest wage increases are Leisure and Hospitality and Education and Health Services, which are up 29.1% and 22.9% respectively. Construction workers also saw wages increase by 17 percent.

The Spartanburg metropolitan area has seen the third highest wage growth among the state’s 10 metropolitan areas, with wages up 12.6%. The Greenville metro area saw wages rise 3.9% over the two-year period from April 2020 to April 2022.

“With such a lucrative job market, the state’s unemployment rate recently fell to 3.3 percent. While
there has been an increase in job turnover, the data clearly indicate that the number of people working
in South Carolina has never been higher,” said Grady.

Wages by metro area in April 2022 compared to April 2020:

Metropolitan Statistical AreaApril 2020 Avg. Weekly EarningsApril 2022 Avg. Weekly EarningsChange
Charleston-North Charleston$957.13$1,061.23+10.9%
Hilton Head Island$843.16$837.86-0.6%
Myrtle Beach-Conway$685.13$826.56+20.6%
Augusta, GA$915.73$908.79-0.8%
Charlotte, NC$1,089.94$1,106.36+1.5%
(From: SC Department of Employment and Workforce)