Even more South Carolinians have given up on finding jobs under Henry McMaster

Oct. 22, 2018Press Contact: Brad Warthen, 803-315-1886

COLUMBIA, S.C. – We noted a couple of months back that the percentage of South Carolina’s working-age population actually participating in the labor force – those working or actively seeking work – had dropped to a new low under Henry McMaster.

Since then, things have only gotten worse, to the point that we’re tied for third-worst in the country.

In July, as we noted in our previous release on the subject, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that our state’s labor participation rate had fallen in July for the fifth consecutive month – reaching another record low of 57.6 percent.

In August, the figure fell to 57.4 percent, and in September, it dropped to 57.3. That means that the percentage of South Carolinians who have given up on finding work has increased for seven straight months.

Here are the latest statistics, plus historical data:

When McMaster took office, we had the eighth-worst participation rate in the country, which wasn’t great. In July, we were tied with Arkansas for fourth-worst. Now, we’re tied with Alabama for third-worst.

McMaster’s view of the jobs picture in South Carolina is divorced from reality, which is how he can tell people worried about job-killing tariffs that they should just “be patient.” Well, people who have given up even looking for work are by definition people who have run out of patience.

“Henry brags that he’s a jobs governor,” said Rep. James Smith, Democratic nominee for governor of S.C. “How can he be, when so many South Carolinians have simply given up on even finding gainful employment?”

James said it in the debate last week, and he’ll say it again:

“Henry, if this is winning, I would hate to see what losing looks like.”