October 14, 2020
by Jacki Renegar
2020 has been a year of rapid change for every community. Early on, the Charleston metro had record low unemployment (2.5% in February). By May it climbed to 12.2% — higher than during the Great Recession — thanks to COVID-19. Recovery has been swift for many sectors, as evidenced by unemployment falling to 6.8% in August.
This quickly changing talent landscape makes it all the more important for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and CRDA to conduct our biennial talent demand analysis this year. However, the unusual circumstances of a global pandemic can make forecasting local job growth a near-impossible task. A skills-first approach proved to be the best way to examine talent in demand both now and into the future.
By diving into the details of the skills in need – not just the job titles or occupation categories – the report creates a blueprint for job seekers, training providers, and employers to better align their efforts. Using the language of skills helps illuminate the transferability of skill sets from one industry sector to another. For instance, construction and manufacturing jobs often require similar skillsets such as the ability to read blueprints or diagrams and operate/maintain machinery & equipment. This means employers can broaden their labor pools, while workers have more diverse income opportunities.
28,000 new jobs are forecast to be added in the Charleston region over the next five years.
Using real-time data on local job postings and online candidate profiles, the analysis shows the largest talent gaps in the region in the immediate term. The data also presents opportunities to increase regional prosperity by improving workforce diversity in high-demand, high-wage jobs.
Click here to view the full Talent 2020 & Beyond Report.