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 are helping South Carolina meet its growing demand for healthcare workers, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2015 to 2019, online job postings for registered nurses increased by 36.2 percent. During the same time period, demand for health managers increased by 43.5 percent.
- Immigrants are helping to fill critical teacher shortages across the state. Online job posting for K-12 teaching positions increased by 19.2 percent from 2015 to 2019, with demand for middle school teachers increasing by 69.1 percent during this time period.
- Immigrants are playing essential roles as social workers and behavioral health providers, with demand spiking due in part to the pandemic. Online job postings for social workers and counselors doubled, with an increase of 53.8 percent from 2015 to 2019. During this time period, the general medical and surgical hospital sector was the largest industry seeking certified social workers, with an increase of 185.7 percent in job postings.