STRING OF RECENT DECREASES SNAPPED
With no government job growth to fuel its decline, South Carolina’s unemployment rate ticked back up in December 2012 – from 8.3 to 8.4 percent.
Over the previous three months this widely watched economic indicator plummeted from 9.1 to 8.3 percent, although as we’ve noted on several occasions this precipitous decline was driven by new taxpayer-funded positions – not private sector jobs.
South Carolina is also struggling to raise its historically low labor participation rate. And while December’s numbers showed the state’s labor force expanding by 8,500 workers – there are 10,000 fewer South Carolinians in the work force than there were a year ago (and 15,000 fewer than there were when S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley took office). Last summer, South Carolina’s labor participation rate hit an all-time low of 58.4 percent.
South Carolina’s underemployment rate – a broader, more accurate measure of joblessness – currently stands at 16.3 percent.
Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8 percent in January while the underemployment rate remained stuck at 14.4 percent.