Remember U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s South Carolina-based think tank? Yeah … neither do we.

The Palmetto Policy Forum – which debuted with a splash last February – has been pretty quiet in the intervening months, with sources telling FITS the operation has been forced to scale back due to fiscal constraints.

Anyway … the group did manage to fire off a quick report this week on the status of unionized government employees in the Palmetto State. According to the report (.pdf HERE), unionized public sector employees in South Carolina earn four percent less than their non-unionized counterparts.

Nationally, unionized government employees make seven percent more than non-unionized government employees.

That’s quite a spread … and according to the report’s authors it broadens with academic attainment.

“Unionized government workers in South Carolina are actually being penalized for paying union dues,” the report concludes.

Hmmmm …

“Public workers operating under a union-negotiated contract in South Carolina are hit twice by the unions claiming to represent them: First by paying to join the union, then again with overall lower compensation,” the report argues. “So if the unions are unable to back up their claims of better pay and benefits, this begs the question: What exactly are South Carolina’s public sector unions doing with their members’ dues?”

Roughly 11.3 percent of the nation’s workforce (14.5 million workers) was unionized in 2013 – identical to 2012 but down from 2011?s total of 11.8 percent. In the public sector – which has helped keep organized labor alive in recent years – unionization stood at 35.3 percent last year, down modestly from 35.9 percent in 2012.

South Carolina’s unionization rate was just 3.7 percent. That’s third-lowest nationally, although that hasn’t stopped S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley from bashing labor … and vice versa.