A medical supply manufacturing facility in Seneca, S.C. is shutting its doors – a move that will cost the Palmetto State nearly 600 full-time jobs over the next three years.  Covidien – an Irish firm that is headquartered in Mansfield, Massachusetts – will move these jobs to Costa Rica.

A spokesman for the company told Reuters that the layoffs – part of a nationwide restructuring – were in response to a “challenging healthcare environment where companies face pricing pressures and reimbursement issues.”

The announcement is the latest bad news for Oconee County, S.C.  In May, Itron – a company which provides water utilities with metering equipment, software and consulting services – announced that it was laying off 300 people at its West Union, S.C. facility.  The first round of layoffs took place last month, while the second round began this week.

It’s not immediately clear whether either of these companies received taxpayer-funded incentives to locate (or keep) their business in South Carolina  in the past – but it wouldn’t surprise us if they did.  After all, that’s the way we get jobs in this state – bribing companies and then passing the bill onto small business.

Anyway, unemployment in Oconee County was 10.4 percent in July – the latest month for which data is available.  Expect that rate to climb precipitously in the months to come, though.

Incidentally, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley did not respond to our request for comment on this story.