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… BUT THE PALMETTO STATE’S LABOR FORCE IS SHRINKING

South Carolina’s unemployment rate slipped from 8.9 percent in March to 8.8 percent last month, although a big chunk of that reduction was attributable to people giving up their search for gainful employment.

According to statistics released this week by the S.C. Department of Workforce and Employment, South Carolina’s labor force currently stands at 2,151,192 – down 6,055 from the previous month. The number of employed South Carolinians also dropped in April by 3,256.

How is our unemployment rate shrinking then? Like the national rate (which dropped from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1. percent last month), declines in unemployment are all about people dropping out of the job market, not getting hired.

As it is elsewhere, job growth is cooling in the Palmetto State – and even when it has grown this year, it’s been for all the wrong reasons. For example in February, nearly half of the state‚Äôs newly created positions were government jobs (8,100), while another huge chunk (4,800) were affiliated with education and health care sectors that are dominated by government spending.

Also, most of the big job announcements made by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley involve millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives – which limit job growth elsewhere by shifting the state’s tax burden.

APRIL 2012 EMPLOYMENT REPORT

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