PALMETTO STATE STILL LAGS WELL BEHIND NATIONAL AVERAGE
This metric – a more reliable indicator of the state’s jobless situation than the widely watched unemployment rate – printed at 58.3 percent for the month, up marginally from 58.1 percent in September.
Labor participation in South Carolina hit a record low of 57.8 percent earlier this summer. Shortly after S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley took office, the rate stood at 60.9 percent – but it has been dropping steadily over the last three years.
The Palmetto State has the seventh-lowest labor participation rate in the United States – which averaged out at 62.8 in October (up 0.1 percent from a 36-year-low in September).
For those of you keeping score at home, labor participation represents the percentage of a state (or nation)’s working age population that’s gainfully employed. It’s a more accurate depiction of the health of the labor market than the unemployment rate – which is the percentage of the labor force that’s actively looking for a job but can’t find one.