“HONEY, I SHRUNK THE PAYCHECK”
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has touted her ability to bring jobs to South Carolina, but the Palmetto State continues to trail the rest of the nation when it comes to getting paid. And let’s not forget that most of Haley’s job announcements have been purchased using taxpayer-funded incentives – which limit job growth elsewhere by shifting the state’s tax burden.
Anyway, according to statistics released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average worker in the Palmetto State made $38,560 a year in 2011 – a figure which ranks 44th nationally. That’s nearly $7,000 less than the national average – and roughly half what the average worker earns each year in Washington, D.C.
That’s sad, but not surprising. In good and bad economic times, workers in South Carolina have consistently made less money than their peers.
In 2009, South Carolina’s median household income shrank by $1,600 – a 3.7 percent decline from 2008. The state’s poverty ranking also shot up to 17.1 percent in 2009 – a 10.6 percent increase from the previous year. And while those numbers were obviously tied to the national recession, income levels in South Carolina were already shrinking well before the “Great Recession” hit.
The Palmetto State’s unemployment rate – one of the nation’s highest – has dropped to 8.8 percent in recent months, but the state’s available labor force and total number of employed citizens is shrinking.
As it has been doing for years, this website will continue to push for individual income tax relief – not crony capitalism – as a means of stimulating job growth, income growth and capital investment in our state. Hopefully at some point Haley and our “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly will heed those calls.