The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) is laying off fifty-five employees this week, sources at the agency tell FITS.  Now … are these the same employees who haven’t been answering their phones?  No clue … the agency’s public relations office never returns our calls.

Again … ironic, isn’t it? (Yeah we really do think).

One of the most wasteful, incompetent agencies in all of state government, SCDEW has been literally one disaster after another since Gov. Nikki Haley appointed retired U.S. Army General Abraham Turner as its director last year.  SCDEW has consistently been among the most inefficient and ineffective agencies in Haley’s administration – a massive cost that keeps being passed on to South Carolina businesses and taxpayers.  In fact SCDEW’s chronic failure has been exposed this year via a state auditfederal warning and a legislative study.

The response of the agency’s leadership?  Taxpayer-funded hobnobbing … and more hobnobbing.

Oh and now they’re going to fire some people …

“General Abraham Turner dropped a bomb at his monthly town hall meeting,” an email from one of our moles at the agency reads. “(SCDEW) will notify 55 staff next Wednesday, October 17,2012 that they will be laid off.  Also, General Turner said DEW will be offering up to $25,000 in serverance (sic) pay depending on the number of years of service.”

Hmmmm … will they be firing the upper level finance guy who ordered the infamous “door to nowhere,” too?

Don’t count on it …

SCDEW administers federal unemployment benefits and releases monthly employment data for the state.  It currently employs roughly 1,200 people.  Its services were supposed to be a central component of Haley’s “jobs” plan for our state, but data shows that people who avail themselves of SCDEW’s services actually take longer to find work than people who don’t.

Once again … conclusive proof that government has no business in the job placement business.

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, SCDEW is actually laying off 130 positions – more than twice the number we were provided.  Those positions are at offices all over the state, the wire service is reporting.

UPDATE II: Actually it’s 136 lost jobs, according to an agency press release