As the Democratic Convention gears up in Charlotte, 6th District Congressman Jim Clyburn is preparing to address the convention Tuesday night.
Clyburn, the lone Democrat among South Carolina’s congressional delegation in Washington, says he has no problem with answering the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” In an appearance on MSNBC Monday morning, Clyburn said his answer is a rousing ‘yes.’
“We are absolutely better off than we were four years ago. We are not hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month, we are now experiencing 29 consecutive months of job growth and that is a much better place; and look at the stock market where it was back then and where it is today.”
Clyburn says, in South Carolina, rural counties have been suffering through months of double-digit unemployment. However, he says indications are that great improvement is being made. “Three nights ago I was in a rural county in my district. Four years ago, they were 1 or 2 in unemployment (among the 46 counties) every month. They are now out of the top 10. The have dropped to number 17 in South Carolina and the people are upbeat.”
The national unemployment rate has hovered around 8.3 percent over the past few months and indications are that number will be about the same when the jobs report comes out Friday. South Carolina’s rate was 9.6 percent in July, the Labor Department’s most recent available month.
Clyburn says while concerned about the high jobless rate, he is looking intently at overall job creation moving in a positive direction. “If we continue the job growth, irrespective of what the number may be as to overall employment, I think that’s what people are concerned about. Are you moving forward and upward? And I think that is the number I’m going to be concerned about.”
He was quick to point out in the interview that a number of South Carolinians have worked diligently to make sure that the convention is a success. Many delegates, support staff, and media are lodging in York and Lancaster counties during the convention this week.