So, we’ve all heard about South Carolina’s bottom-of-the-barrel public school system. No need to kick a dead horse. Our fine state has been famous for this for as long as I can remember. Maybe even since the first public school this side of Charleston opened its doors.
Well, we have something else to be proud of: According to the Greenville News, the Palmetto State now has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation!
That’s right: South Carolina, the booming economic powerhouse of the South, the East Coast’s new mecca of industrial development has a higher unemployment rate than West Virginia, Louisiana, and even Alabama. The only two states to beat us are Mississippi and Michigan, who tied for the #1 spot.
Really. Think about it. It’s a heck of an accomplishment.
Now… don’t let me suggest that over a decade (or two… or three) of having one of the worst public school systems in the nation has anything at all to do with our stellar unemployment numbers.
Seriously. The two numbers are completely unrelated.
To add some spice to the mix, in Greenville County alone, the unemployment rate jumped 0.5% between July and August, and since the trend is on the way up throughout the state, with any luck at all, we’ll be #1 in the nation this time next year. (Or maybe just in time for Christmas.)
Now that’s something to celebrate.
Good karma note: To be fair, South Carolina’s GDP is also one of the fastest growing in the nation, and some of the companies that are following BMW, Michelin, and Hubbell Lighting out here are pretty impressive. The state’s economy is shifting and these may simply be growing pains… but we can do better, and our public school system might definitely be a great place to start.
Yeah, we’re getting pretty good at attracting business, but we still aren’t very good at creating the kind of diverse and adaptive workforce that we need to get out of the embarrassing employment hole we seem to have dug for ourselves.
The second highest unemployment rate in the nation. Sheesh. That’s just inexcusable. I’d love for someone to explain to me how things were allowed to get this bad.
(Climbing down from my soapbox now.)