RUH-ROH, “JOBS GOVERNOR …”
As her campaign for a second term in office heats up, South Carolina’s “Jobs Governor” is presiding over a workforce afflicted by record “shrinkage.”
South Carolina’s labor participation rate for the month of June clocked in at a seasonally adjusted 57.8 percent, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s a new record low – tying a revised 57.8 percent reading from May.
Only four states – Arizona (57.1 percent) Alabama (56.5 percent), Mississippi (55.7 percent) and West Virginia (54.1 percent) – have lower rates than South Carolina.
Does that sound like a “recovery?” Eh … no. Which explains the Palmetto State’s surge in government dependency.
Nationally the labor participation rate has been stuck at 62.8 percent for the last three months – low levels it hasn’t seen since the late 1970s. When Haley took office, the rate stood at 60.4 percent – but it has been falling precipitously ever since.
The governor has been busted inflating the state’s jobs numbers on several previous occasions (including HERE and HERE), but her real trick has been touting the state’s declining unemployment rate – which as we’ve pointed out repeatedly isn’t the result of an influx of new jobs (or new hiring by existing businesses), but rather the result of tens of thousands of working age South Carolinians leaving the workforce .
Still, the labor participation rate doesn’t get anywhere near as much media coverage as the unemployment rate … so most South Carolinians assume the state’s job situation is improving.
It isn’t …
As a member of the S.C. House of Representatives from 2005-11, Haley was an aggressive proponent of individual income tax relief aimed at empowering the consumer economy and generating organic job growth and capital investment. Since becoming governor, however, she’s leaned almost exclusively on a command economic model of picking winners and losers with taxpayer dollars – a strategy that has demonstrably failed in the past.
And the present …