Charleston-area employers are boosting wages, benefits to compete, survey finds

Emily Williams, Post and Courier

In the Charleston region’s competitive labor market, employers are offering better perks and higher wages, according to a survey released Thursday by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. 

More paid time off, shorter insurance coverage waiting periods, and even health and wellness initiatives like standing desks — now offered at about 60 percent to 70 percent of employers in the region, according to survey responses — are being used to entice and retain employees. 

Manufacturers, which made up the largest portion of survey respondents, have outpaced other sectors in developing more robust benefits packages, according to the study.  

It’s also the sector that’s seeing the fastest rate of job growth in the region with about 5,900 jobs projected to be added by 2022. Those increases, and a lack of applicants for openings, likely drove interest in the survey, said Tina Wirth, the senior vice president of talent advancement for the Chamber. 

Overall, 51 companies representing about 10 percent of the area’s workforce responded to the survey. All information submitted by individual employers was confidential, so figures in the report are broken down by industry but not by company.

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