There are now more jobs open in the country than at any time since 2001.

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- If you're looking for a job, or even looking to change careers, now could be the best time to do so in more than a decade.

There are now more jobs open in the country than at any time since 2001.

But when it comes to the frustration of job searching, Leola Brown and folks at a Bi-Lo hiring fair at the one of their stores off of Clemson Road in Columbia said they know it well.

"(I) just moved back here from DC and need a job," Brown said. "It's rough. I've been back since May, and I haven't been able to find a full-time position here."

But chances are things will soon be turning around for them, because there are more job openings in the country then there has been at any point in 13 years.

At the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, a new $1 million federal grant will help.

"This grant is going to allow us to develop and implement a program we will call "Learn 2 Earn," said SCDEW spokesperson Adrienne Fairwell. "Statewide, there are more than 60,000 jobs available right now. We've just got to get the workers ready to acquire these positions."

Fairwell said the "Learn 2 earn program will go toward getting people in rural counties into jobs."

"The good news is we've been moving in the right direction. I think we're going to continue moving in the right direction," said William Hauk, who teaches economics at the University of South Carolina.

In just the southern part of the country, there are close to 2 million jobs open, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hauk said part of the reason why is because we are now slowly starting to recover from the recession.

"We're in the middle of recovery from the recession," he said, "the job-market is coming along pretty well. It could be doing better, but it's coming along pretty well."

The SCDEW Workforce Development Grant is funded through the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Education.

Grant funding runs through June 2016.

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