SCIWAY News No. 37 – May 2002
Also see: Previous Issues of SCIWAY News
In This Issue
- Post Job Ads and Resumes on SCJobsNow for Free
- New and Notable South Carolina Web Sites
- The Palmetto Pay Gap: SC Wages Compared with NC, GA, and the US
- Who in South Carolina Makes the Most Money ... and the Least?
- Why We Make Less ... and Why It Matters
- New SCIWAY Sponsors
- Upcoming SC Festivals and Events
- SC Spotlight: Beaufort and Beaufort County
1. POST JOB ADS AND RESUMES ON SCJobsNow
If you've ever had a hard time finding a job or finding the right person for a position, I think you're going to like our new South Carolina employment information service, SCJobsNow.
SCJobsNow is a statewide web site where employers can post information about job openings, and job seekers can post their resumes.
Searching for jobs will always be free, and posting job ads will be free until July 1. After that employers can post ads for a flat fee of $30 for 30 days ... or even less with one of our "Ad Packs."
Job seekers can post up to three resumes for free. Additional resume postings cost $10 per resume.
Our goal is to make it easier for South Carolinians to find jobs that match their strengths ... and easier for employers to find workers who meet their needs. We also believe that SCJobsNow's statewide scope will help businesses and organizations in smaller towns attract workers with hard-to-find skills.
I would like to thank Don Carlton of Charleston for his help in implementing SCJobsNow. Without Don's expertise and problem-solving abilities, this web site would not be online today.
2. NEW AND NOTABLE SOUTH CAROLINA WEB SITES
Abbeville Visitors' Center - good info about all of Abbeville County - site no longer exists
Charleston Fishing Charters and Guides - inshore and offshore
Chester County Economic Development Office - helpful info for businesses
Congressman Joe Wilson - 2nd District - recently elected
History of South Carolina Slide Collection + text - a true treasure!
Morris Island Lighthouse to be "lighted" during Spoleto - May 10-June 9
MUSC Children's Hospital - you can ask pediatric health questions online
SCALE - a six-acre model of South Carolina in Spartanburg County
6th Regiment - Civil War reenactors from Rock Hill, Chester, and Fort Mill
3. THE PALMETTO PAY GAP:
In December of 1999 SCIWAY News published an article and two graphs which showed that the per capita personal income of South Carolinians was significantly lower than the income of North Carolina and Georgia residents ... and that we have been steadily losing ground to both of these states and the US as a whole since the 1980s. You can find this article and the updated graphs at
For the past two years, SCIway has been assembling a good bit of data about how South Carolina is progressing. This month we will focus on wages and salaries, the main component of personal income.
SC WAGES COMPARED WITH NC, GA, AND THE US
How much do working South Carolinians make compared with our two neighboring states and Americans in general? Less. A lot less.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes average annual wage estimates for 22 major occupational groups. Wages are straight pay. They do not include overtime, vacation and sick leave pay, or benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.
We have used these wage estimates for the year 2000 to compare South Carolina with North Carolina and Georgia, both in terms of dollars and as a percentage of US average annual wages. You can see how we stand by looking at these two tables:
South Carolina wages are lower than NC and GA wages in 15 of the 22 occupational groups ... and $2,000 to $3,000 lower overall. Multiply these numbers by 1.8 million SC workers, and you'll see that the SC-NC pay gap is $3.6 billion a year and the SC-GA gap is $5.4 billion.
Only one group of South Carolinians makes significantly more money than their NC and GA counterparts: Architects and Engineers.
Both higher and lower level South Carolina healthcare workers make slightly more than NC and GA healthcare workers.
At first, the average wage of SC production workers (mostly manufacturing) also looks like a bright spot. But when you look at average hourly "earnings" for manufacturing workers from 1950 to 2001, the shine disappears.
Unlike wage data, earnings data excludes first-line supervisors and managers and includes sick leave and vacation pay as well as overtime pay. When these factors are taken into account, South Carolina manufacturing workers make $2.00 an hour less than their North Carolina and Georgia counterparts. And as the "percent" graph shows, the average earnings of South Carolina manufacturing workers relative to NC and GA workers has declined steeply since 1990.
4. WHO IN SOUTH CAROLINA MAKES THE MOST MONEY ...
As our "dollars" wage table shows, only three South Carolina occupational groups receive average annual wages greater than $50,000:
managers and executives, architecture and engineering, and legal workers.
AND THE LEAST?
Four groups make less than $20,000 a year: healthcare aides and assistants, personal care providers, building and grounds workers, and food preparers and servers.
However, when we look at how much South Carolina workers make relative to average US wages, the top groups are different:
And the bottom groups are really different:
- Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
- Architecture and Engineering
- Healthcare Practitioners, Technologists, and Technicians
- Production Workers (again, earnings tell a different story)
- Healthcare Aides and Assistants
We will explore the wage data in greater depth in future issues of SCIWAY News, as it is rich in insights. For example, South Carolina lawyers actually make slightly more than Georgia lawyers, but SC legal paraprofessionals make $2,500 less a year than Georgia paraprofessionals.
- Business and Financial Operations
- Managers and Executives
- Construction and Skilled Trades
- Fire, Police, Corrections, and Security
Most of the data summarized in this article was collected by Erica Larsh of James Island, and the graphs were created by Kasey Briggs of Charleston. I appreciate the thought and care both put into this work.
5. WHY WE MAKE LESS ... AND WHY IT MATTERS
I'm not an economist, but it seems to me there are at least seven logically POSSIBLE reasons why South Carolinians make less money than Georgians, North Carolinians, and most other Americans:
In the next issues of SCIWAY News, we will try to find out which of these explanations hold water.
- It costs less to live in South Carolina, so workers need less money.
- South Carolinians work fewer hours a week and thus earn less money.
- South Carolina workers are less productive, so employers can't afford to pay employees as much.
- Fewer South Carolina workers are in labor unions, so employees are less able to promote their economic interests.
- A larger portion of SC jobs are in lower paying occupations, industries, and types of businesses.
- South Carolina has fewer corporate headquarters, where the highest paying jobs are usually located.
- South Carolina employers simply pay their employees less.
Whatever we learn, it matters. Every year people who have made more money in other states are moving to South Carolina and buying real estate at prices most South Carolinians can't afford ... and raising real estate taxes to a level many can't pay.
(Our lower incomes are not the fault of those who are moving to South Carolina. We applaud their economic success and appreciate their good judgment.)
At the same time tens of thousands of working South Carolinians don't make enough money to pay for the basic necessities of life ... and for hundreds of thousands, health care and health insurance are unaffordable luxuries.
Then there are our children and grandchildren. An increasing number of them will likely leave South Carolina. They can make more money in other states ... have more opportunities for advancement ... and in many cases buy nicer homes for less money.
I hope many of you are as concerned about the "Palmetto Pay Gap" as I am.
6. NEW SCIWAY SPONSORS
Capstone Financial Group - Hilton Head Island - investment banking firm
Charleston Regional Development Alliance - Discover the advantages
Russell Carson - Exit Sandlapper Realty - Helping Columbia Home Buyers - site no longer exists
South Carolina Student Loan - the only statewide non-profit education lender
7. UPCOMING SC FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
For an annual calendar of South Carolina festivals, conferences, and
other events, please see http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week and Spring Rally - May 10-19
Jubilee Arts Festival - Bennettsville - May 11
Midlands Intertribal Pow Wow - Columbia - May 17-19
FoxTrot Festival - Marion - May 18
Sculpture in the South - Summerville - May 18-19
Iris Festival - Sumter - May 23-26
Catfish Feastival - Ware Shoals - May 24-25
Plum Hollow Alternative Bluegrass Festival - Campobello - May 24-25
Piccolo Spoleto - Charleston - local arts festival - May 24-Jun 9
L'Organo - Charleston - Piccolo Spoleto organ series - May 25-Jun 9
8. SC SPOTLIGHT: BEAUFORT AND BEAUFORT COUNTY
Last month my daughter Julia and I spent four genuinely delightful days in downtown Beaufort. This area has somehow managed to maintain a tranquil, village-like atmosphere that is a pleasure to soak in. I was also impressed by its diversity: large and small homes jumbled on the same streets ... black and white neighborhoods and churches side by side.
However, my favorite part of Beaufort is its shady waterfront park, which stretches along the Beaufort River for about half a mile. It is loaded with live oaks, crepe myrtles, benches, and swings -- and its landward side is protected by good restaurants and ice cream shops. I could camp out there a long time!
47th Annual Beaufort Water Festival - July 12-21
Beaufort Arsenal Museum
Marine Corps Air Station
Parish Church of Saint Helena - founded in 1712
SCIWAY's Directory of Beaufort Web Sites - many more links
The City of Beaufort is the county seat of BEAUFORT COUNTY, where South Carolina's first European settlements were located. In French "beau" means beautiful, handsome, lovely, or fine ... and after even the shortest visit, you'll know that both the city and the county of Beaufort are aptly named. (Ironically, both are actually named for an Englishman, Henry Somerset, the Second Duke of Beaufort, who pronounced his name "BOH-fert," as in bow and arrow and Beaufort, North Carolina.)
Arts Council of Beaufort County
Beaufort County Public Library - impressive web site, helpful staff
Penn Center - at the heart of Gullah culture - St Helena Island
SCIWAY's Directory of Beaufort County Web Sites - many more links
The next issue of SCIWAY News will spotlight the City of Spartanburg and Spartanburg County. If you know of a notable area web site that SCIway doesn't yet link to, please send its address to email@example.com. Business listings cost $60 a year.
James Island, SC
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Copyright 2002 SCIway, LLC. "SCIWAY News"(TM) is written by Rod Welch of James Island – with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. ISSN: 1527-3903. Direct circulation: 52,000+
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