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PALMETTO WORKFORCE “STILL SHRUNK …” 

For the second month in a row, South Carolina’s labor participation rate remained at a record-low level of 57.9 percent in April – further evidence that the “economic miracle” of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration is nothing but a figment of her reelection campaign’s overactive imagination.

The Palmetto State’s workforce is the nation’s fourth-smallest as a percentage of its population – and trails the national average (which itself is hovering at thirty-year lows) by more than five percentage points.

Don’t bother confusing Haley with that reality, though …

“Look at South Carolina,” Haley said last week during a Republican Governors Association meeting in New York City. “In 2011, our unemployment had reached 11.1 percent. Now you look at South Carolina – 5.3 percent. We actually have more people working in South Carolina than ever in the history of the state.”

Really? 

Haley has been busted inflating the state’s jobs numbers on several previous occasions (including HERE and HERE), but that’s not her real trick.

South Carolina’s unemployment rate has shrunk, to be sure, but the decline is almost exclusively the result of a stagnant workforce that isn’t expanding along with the state’s growing population.

Seriously … how else does Haley explain the surge in government dependency that’s taken place under her administration? If the economy is expanding, why are more South Carolinians relying on government handouts? And why are our income levels stagnant?

Haley doesn’t like to talk about any of that. Nor does she like to talk about the number of jobs South Carolina has lost since she took office – or the government-subsidized “economic development” deals that failed to produce a return on investment.

Bottom line? South Carolina’s economy is not recovering. Jobs are being added, but they are also being lost – and more importantly growing numbers of working age citizens have given up their quest for gainful employment and resigned themselves to receiving a perpetual stream of taxpayer-funded handouts.

If that’s Nikki Haley’s definition of “success,” we suspect her heretofore smooth sailing reelection bid could soon encounter rougher seas … especially now that she’s drawn an opponent with the resources to drive a counter-narrative.