S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s much-maligned “jobs” agency has a pretty new sign …

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) – which has been ripped this year by a state audit, federal warning and legislative study – has purchased a new sign for its downtown Columbia, S.C. headquarters.

How much did this fancy new marquee cost taxpayers?  We don’t know … SCDEW’s press office has never returned our calls, and did not respond to our request for comment on this story.

What we do know is that the jobless agency’s claim that it will reduce our state’s unemployment tax by $150 million next year has been challenged by S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant – whose Senate committee has determined that businesses could see an increase of 12 percent.  Bryant, of course, has been told to “back off” by the agency – even though his committee is tasked with providing legislative oversight of its actions.

Haley’s “jobs agency” has consistently been among the most inefficient and ineffective agencies in her administration – a cost that has keeps being passed on to South Carolina businesses and taxpayers.

Speaking of SCDEW’s “actions,” no word yet on whether its director Abraham Turner has recovered from his recent motorcycle accident … or whether the agency’s leaders are currently planning another exotic getaway (click here and here to see prior examples of the “hard work” they are doing with our tax money).

As we’ve reported on numerous previous occasions, one out of every five dollars in unemployment benefits doled out in South Carolina is awarded erroneously – the eighth-highest percentage in the nation.   That’s obviously a huge problem in a state with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.