… WHICH IS BETTER THAN TICKING DOWN
The Palmetto State’s lagging labor participation rate ticked up modestly in December to 59.2 percent – up from 59 percent the previous month. The metric is up 0.7 percent from December of 2014.
That’s the good news …
The bad news? The Palmetto State’s labor participation rate – which measures the percentage of the state’s working-age population that is currently a part of the labor force – still ranks eighth-lowest in the nation. Which is only slightly better than our state’s ranking when it comes to income levels.
Still, up is better than down … even if our workers are still earning far less than their counterparts.
Under governor Nikki Haley, labor participation peaked at 60.9 percent in June 2011. It hasn’t been at or above 60 percent since October of that year.
Nationally, the labor participation rate clocked in at 62.6 percent in December – just up from its forty-year low-water mark of 62.4 percent. 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.