You may be working, but are you underemployed?

COLUMBIA (WACH)"Unemployment in South Carolina is still among the highest in the nation. The Richland County Public Library, in an effort to help the issue locally offers the Job Center, a free service offering advice on resume building, interviewing, and other job search skills.

Each week on Good Day Columbia, employment advisor Lori Cook offers information and advice in various areas concerning the very competitive employment landscape.

Lori Cook, from the RCPL Job Center, points out that in addition to unemployment, there are a large number of people who are underemployed, working either part-time, or forced to take entry level employment as a means to stay in the work force. The last quarterly update from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an underemployment rate in South Carolina of 18.3 percent, ranking the Palmetto State among the top 20 in the United States. The national average in the same report was 16.5 percent.

Cook says that the key is to have a positive attitude and be proactive about your search for either full-time employment, or a return to your vocation if you find yourself in another line of work as an end to a means. She says that even if you are not working, get up each day, get dressed, and leave the house. Cook suggests coming to the Job Center as a destination, where research can be done, and job skills can be honed. She also recommends volunteering as a way to get out of the house, network, and learn new skills that could lead to employment.

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The Job Center also offers online career assessments that can help answer key questions, including if you are in the right place, where you want to me, and what needs to be done to attain those goals.

Cook says that other services that the Job Center offers to those unemployed or under employed include free classes in computers, interview skills, and other important areas in the job search.

The RCPL Job Center is open to the public, at no charge, and a membership is not required. Information can be found at the library website, or by calling 803.929.3401.