COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — According to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor, about 82,000 South Carolinians quit their jobs in June 2022.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) said that number is tied for the second highest on record.

Federal data also shows more than 80,000 people have quit their jobs every month in South Carolina so far in 2022.

Officials say it’s not a bad thing. There are more than 160,000 open jobs and 108,000 hires were made in South Carolina in June.

DEW Research Economist Erica Von Nessen said these figures show the state’s job market has been and remains hot.

“It’s not like those people are quitting and staying at home,” Von Nessen said. “They’re going right back into the workforce into different jobs whether that be for higher pay, greater flexibility, being closer to home, things like that.”

Von Nessen said the current trend started back in Summer 2020 and continued through 2021. She said employees are in a good position for bargaining right now.

“There is optimism among individuals who think that quitting your jobs isn’t a risk but more of a reward for them.”

Population growth is also playing a role in the demand for jobs Von Nessen said.

“We are one of the top ten states in terms of population growth over the past several years…For every person who moves here, they’re looking for a house, so there needs to be construction,” Von Nessan said.

Research Economist Dr. Joey Von Nessen for the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina said the pandemic also lead to more Baby Boomers exiting the workforce.

“We’re seeing the younger generations, Gen Z and millennials, are simply smaller in size than the Baby Boomer generation and they won’t be able to replace them,” He said.

He said in the short term, the job market could cool due to measures from the Federal Reserve to pull down inflation; “The job openings rate, and unemployment rate, may have reached it’s best point,” Von Nessen said.

According to DEW, South Carolina’s unemployment rate was at 3.2% in July.