This afternoon, Nikki Haley will speak to the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. She will almost certainly once again ignore the reality of falling income, low economic mobility and the number of jobs South Carolina has lost to boast about her record as the self-proclaimed “Jobs Governor.”
But what the Chamber won’t hear her admit to is the truth of what their members are living each day: families and small businesses in South Carolina are struggling while Nikki Haley keeps stacking the deck against them.
Just in the last two weeks, another round of layoffs was announced in the Upstate – 100 jobs from the GE facility in Greenville – adding to other major losses around South Carolina:
- 100 Layoffs announced at GE Greenville facility. [Anderson Independent Mail, 9/25/13]
- SRR lays off 465 employees in Aiken. [Aiken Standard, 9/13/13]
- JP Morgan Chase closing SC office at loss of 450 jobs [AP, 8/13/13]
- MOX facility expecting to lay off 500 employees [SC Radio Network, 8/7/13]
- Midlands plant closing, 200 people losing jobs [WIS, 7/25/13]
- Haley’s jobs effort hasn’t reached McCormick County [Post & Courier, 7/15/13]
This adds insult to injury for a region still reeling from the loss of Bi-Lo’s corporate headquarters because Nikki Haley’s policies hurt existing in-state businesses:
- Bi-Lo a glaring example of why Nikki Haley’s economic approach is not working for South Carolina. Bi-Lo was a South Carolina company with its corporate headquarters in the Upstate. They grew and eventually became successful enough to acquire Winn-Dixie. But once the merger was complete, they moved their headquarters to Florida – taking with them hundreds of jobs and a good chunk of economic activity from the Upstate. All under Nikki Haley’s watch.
- 130 Lay Offs Announced for South Carolina BI-LO Employees. In March 2013 BI-LO Spokesman Brian Wright said “130 employees were being laid off starting next month because of the company’s merger with Winn-Dixie. Bi-Lo LLC bought the Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocery store chain in 2011 for $560 million.” [Associated Press, 3/26/13], [Jacksonville Daily Record, 5/13/13]
Meanwhile, life is only getting harder for middle-class families and businesses:
- Wages stagnant as households make less money than before recession. “South Carolina has seen a greater drop in real income than most states during the past dozen years, according to a Census Bureau report released Thursday morning… Only eight states saw a larger decline in household incomes, according to the Census Bureau, mostly in the deep South and upper Midwest.” [Post & Courier, 9/19/13]
- SC job market mired in 5-year rut. “Five years after the Great Recession began in earnest in South Carolina, the state’s jobless rate remains stuck. And the state’s jobless rate – 8.1 percent – is still a full percentage point higher than it was five years ago….Escaping the recession has been a challenge for the nation and South Carolina.” [The State, 9/20/13]
- Economist: Haley’s jobs approach gets SC “stuck in the mud.” “While the traditional strategy of business recruitment has landed some significant companies for South Carolina such as BMW and Boeing, the result is “we are still stuck in the mud, Vitner said Friday. While jobs are being created statewide, many pay low wages, he said.” [Rock Hill Herald, 9/20/13]
And that’s why hardworking, responsible middle-class families and small business owners have a harder time succeeding in South Carolina than almost anywhere else in the United States:
- South Carolina has one of the worst economic mobility rates in the country… South Carolina is one of the hardest places to achieve the American Dream, with the third worst economic mobility rate in the country. “Southern states, led by Louisiana and South Carolina, have the worst economic mobility in the country, according to a new study.” [Pew Center on the States, 5/10/12];
- …and is one of the hardest places in the nation to earn a living. South Carolina is the 5th hardest state in the nation to earn a living. “A combination of low wages and high unemployment have landed South Carolina in the bottom 10 twice before, and those conditions persist. In addition, people in the state gave it the country’s fifth-worst rating for quality of work environment.” [MoneyRates.com, 4/1/13
Nikki Haley is completely out of touch with the struggles facing middle-class families and small businesses as she continues to brag about her economic record and paint a rosy picture of her tenure as Governor. But it’s anything but a great day in South Carolina for middle-class families and small businesses.
South Carolina’s ready for a change.
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