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Gov. Henry McMaster, SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey Release Statements on S.C. Supreme Court Decision in CARES Act Unemployment Benefits Case

October 13, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.  Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey today released the following statements on the S.C. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to dismiss the case challenging the governor’s decision to end the state’s participation in the voluntary federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs:

“Our goal has always been to usher in a rapid economic recovery that will lift all South Carolinians and benefit generations to come, and we’ve done that,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Rather than working to incentivize South Carolinians to accept one of the thousands of available jobs in our state, these federal benefits presented a clear danger to the health of our state’s businesses by keeping people home. Now, we will continue our tireless work to match qualified South Carolinians with available jobs around our state.”

Since Governor McMaster announced his decision in May of this year, the state’s unemployment rate has decreased from 4.6% to 4.2%. Additionally, over 25,000 more South Carolinians are working now than in May and the labor force has consistently increased.

“We are very happy with the Supreme Court’s decision. The federal programs were voluntary and states had the option to participate. As South Carolina employers ramped up their hiring in the spring of this year and employment opportunities continued to outnumber individuals looking for work, it became evident that it was time for the state to focus more on reemployment. Thousands of South Carolinians have found employment since the termination of the federal programs, but there are still tens of thousands of open positions and opportunities currently available. We strongly encourage anyone who needs help finding their next job to visit an SC Works center and take advantage of the customized services for jobseekers,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director, Dan Ellzey.