Palmetto State’s Labor Participation Still Lagging

YOU WON’T HEAR ABOUT THIS IN THE “STATE OF THE UNION” RESPONSE … South Carolina’s labor participation rate continues to lag well-behind the national rate, which itself is hovering at four-decade lows.  That’s a terrible spot to be in … especially as global economic headwinds intensify. It’s also not a great…


South Carolina’s labor participation rate continues to lag well-behind the national rate, which itself is hovering at four-decade lows.  That’s a terrible spot to be in … especially as global economic headwinds intensify.

It’s also not a great spot for a governor who was recently credited by congressional leadership with bringing “opportunity and prosperity” to her home state.

In November, the Palmetto State’s labor participation rate – or the percentage of its working age residents who were part of the workforce – stood at 59 percent.  That’s down from an annual peak of 59.5 percent in May – and well below the state’s post-recessionary peak of 60.9 percent in June 2011.

December data has yet to be released at the state level … but the nation’s labor participation rate stood at 62.6 percent last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  When U.S. president Barack Obama took office, the rate was 65.8 percent.  When former president George W. Bush took office, it was 67.2 percent.

South Carolina has the nation’s ninth-lowest labor participation rate … and also ranks at the bottom of the barrel in terms of income levels.

Will we hear about any of this when S.C. governor Nikki Haley delivers the “Republican” response to Obama’s State of the Union address this week?  Don’t bet on it …


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Yawn January 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Let’s see, a state that relies heavily on beach tourism has a drop in labor participation when the weather turns cold….like every year since the statistic has been followed. Yawn. Wonder what new stories are over at The Nerve?

flip January 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Obama told us that the warm weather hurt the economy this winter? Which is it?

Yawn January 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Obama is a weak leader who is always on vaction playing golf or Obama is an all-powerful dictator who controls everything, right down to SC’s labor precipitation? Yawn.
Which is it, dipshit?

Ghost of Jethro January 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Is labor participation rate down because of fewer teen pregos – you know – going into labor?

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm


Rocky Verdad January 11, 2016 at 3:09 pm

So let’s see, Bush took office it was 67. Bush left office it was 65. Now it’s 63. Seems like a long term trend to me. Those lazy high school kids. School’s for fools.

Ghost of Tango January 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Obama has planned in the past to explode a nuclear bomb in Charleston Harbor, everyone upstate knows this.

Bible Thumper January 11, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I’m not going in to all the details but the labor participation rate
(LPR) has been calculated at the state level since 1976. As women entered the labor force it rose to 67.0%. As the baby boomers aged, life spans increased and retirees moved in, the LPR has more or less declined until February 2014 to 58.0%. Since then the LPR has risen to 59.5% in May 2015 then level ed out at 59.0%.

South Carolina has the second highest United Van Lines 2015 survey move in ratio. 63% of all South Carolina movers are moving in to the State. 33% of those moving in are for retirement, while only 7% of a smaller group moving out are for retirement. With those numbers it is understandable that South Carolina’s LPR would decline. See interactive map.

At SC Dept. Employment and Workforce
click the “South Carolina’s Employment Situation – November 2015 under “News & Information” at the right.

South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month, declining from 5.6 percent in October to 5.5 percent in November, a level not seen since August 2001.

The number of people working in South Carolina climbed in November, increasing by 9,147 to a record level of 2,137,493. Employment increased an estimated 71,202 people over the year, an all-time record increase for the state.

The number of unemployed individuals decreased in November by 2,743 to 123,913. Since November 2014, the level of unemployed has decreased by 22,664. The labor force increased by 6,404 to 2,261,406
people. Since November 2014, the labor force has grown substantially by nearly 48,538.

Voice of Experience January 12, 2016 at 12:16 am

SC DEW’s numbers are bullshit. That’s a fact. Anybody who believes otherwise is a lemming.

Bible Thumper January 12, 2016 at 12:43 am

Those are the same numbers that fits is quoting for the Labor Participation Rate. The numbers SCDEW and the Bureau of Labor Statistics that fits and I used came from this same file.
I know that the BLS data matches SCDEW. I imported the pertinent months into Excel and checked the calculations, because I do my own calculations.

You can also get some of the data from this link. You have to do your own subtraction.

So if you don’t believe SCDEW, then you can’t believe the Fits numbers either. The errors would pile up if faked and would cause a scandle. I know their are other measures of unemployment (U6), but not available at the state level. These numbers are still good for comparison.

Saying they are bullshit is not a logical statement, unless you can back up your statement. It would be hypocritical to believe the bad numbers and not the good. They came from the same source.

shifty henry January 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Stock Market Week in Review

It’s been a rocky week for the Stock Market. Here’s a summary:

Helium was up, feathers were down. Paper was stationary. Ticonderoga Pencils lost a few points. Though elevators
rose, escalators continued their slow decline.

Weights were up in heavy trading. Light switches were off. Mining equipment hit rock bottom. The market for raisins dried up. Pampers remained unchanged.

Caterpillar stock inched up a bit. Sun peaked at midday. Birds Eye Peas Split. Stanley Tools filed for Chapter 11 and Scott Tissues touched a new bottom.


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