By Crystal Walker
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 6:46 p.m.
Minutes before sunrise, people line up looking for work at Labor Ready in downtown Columbia.
The business offers people a day’s work and a day’s pay, but there are no guarantees.
“If they don’t have any work, I’m stuck or just out here, putting out applications,” Devante McCor said.
McCor is a brick mason by trade and says it’s tough to find regular work right now.
“But I still get out here and put out applications, you know what I’m saying, let them know that I’m looking for work, you know what I’m saying, got skills, you know what I’m saying, a lot of stuff, and well there all, if we have anything we’ll call you,” McCor said.
USC Professor Paulo Guimares says South Carolina’s construction jobs have been on a steady decline since January.
“It’s likely to shed some more jobs, because housing permits are down and they keep trending down,” Guimares said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina lost an estimated 16,000 construction jobs between January and September, leaving workers like McCor stuck out in the cold.
“My plans is to get myself back on my feet, go to school,” McCor said.
He says education is his ticket to a lasting employment.