The South Carolina economy needs to get stronger, says the state’s Board of Economic Advisors.The BEA is the offical voice of the state in economic matters. Late Friday, the board kept is assessment of the state’s budget the same. That means that, in spite of some positive unemployment and income tax numbers numbers last week, the state’s budget will be cut again.
That is because the unemployment rate improvement partly caused by people just getting out of the workforce…they just stopped looking for jobs. Labor mathematicians call them “discouraged workers.”
“They are folks who have just dropped out of the labor force, due to being discouraged and frustrated and not being able to find work, ” says Bob Brown, Director of Labor Market Statistics for the SC Employment Security Commission.
According to Brown,”Fifteen thousand people stopped looking for work in South Carolina last month, So when you start getting numbers like that, you can imagine it can have an impace. Of course, there were other things happening—some people finding jobs, other things happening that impact it as well. But there was over a quarter of a million people on the national scene that stopped looking for work and that really was a driver in the national rate.”
That’s one of the reasons the state board of economic advisors took a dim view of the state’s near future forecast.
The SC Budget and Control Board was waiting to see what the BEA would propose before it cut state agencies by more than 4 percent.
Now it is likely to cut agencies, across the board, within the next 30 days.