New research from New American Economy highlights the crucial role immigrants are playing in South Carolina’s economy, including in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields like healthcare, education, and social work. In order to remain competitive and meet the critical workforce shortages in these fields, South Carolina will need to implement policies that not only attract and retain immigrant talent that complements U.S.-born workers, but that also build career pathways for the immigrants already living in the state.
Key findings from the report include:
- Immigrants can help South Carolina meet its growing demand for healthcare workers, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2017 to 2021, online job postings for registered nurses increased by 46.7 percent. During the same time period, demand for licensed practical/vocational nurses increased by 76.3 percent.
- Immigrants can help fill critical teacher shortages across the state. Online job postings for K-12 teaching positions increased by 459.8 percent from 2017 to 2021, with demand for middle school teachers increasing by 415.7 percent during this time period.
- There is a growing demand for social workers and behavioral health providers in the state. Online job postings for social workers and counselors grew dramatically, with an increase of 272.6 percent from 2017 to 2021. During this time period, the general medical and surgical hospital sector was the largest industry seeking certified social workers, with an increase of 303.7 percent in job postings.
This is an update to our Immigrants in South Carolina’s Workforce report. Click here to see the previous version.