South Carolina’s employment agency said Wednesday that a lower-than-expected jobless rate will allow them to pay off a nearly $1 billion federal loan a bit earlier.
The state Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) announced Wednesday it is making a $60 million payment more than six months ahead of schedule. Agency officials say it will save $1.4 million in interest and helps reduce business insurance taxes. Agency officials said a slightly larger workforce combined with $23 million less that was paid out in jobless benefits in October 2013 – April 2014 than a similar timeframe a year ago.
South Carolina accumulated more than $900 million in debt between December 2008 and spring 2011 as the then-Employment Security Commission trust fund went bankrupt. The problems led state lawmakers to reform the agency into SCDEW in 2010.
April’s payment leaves a balance of $396 million on the state’s original debt. SCDEW has paid early for the past several years.
The state is on track to pay the debt off next year.