Sunday, June 19, 2011

2,400 school district jobs cut in May

Call it what you will -- attrition, retirement, right-sizing, down-sizing, anything else that helps you get to sleep at night -- but South Carolina's school districts cut a total of 2,400 positions from April to May, contributing to the return to double-digit unemployment in our state.

The legislature, meanwhile, passed a budget this week giving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to big business in the form of tax breaks. Again.

Writes Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press:

The May jobless rate was 10 percent, up from 9.8 percent in April, according to seasonally adjusted data.

South Carolina's jobless rate was seventh-highest in the country, behind Nevada (12.1), California (11.7), Rhode Island (10.9), Florida (10.6), Michigan and Mississippi (both 10.3).
[G]overnment jobs posted a loss of 1,900 jobs over the last month, with that sector losing 24,000 jobs in the past year. Education jobs, up 3,100 since May 2010, showed losses of 2,400 from April to May, as schools began letting out for the summer months.

Marion County continued to have the highest jobless rate in South Carolina, at 19 percent. Unemployment was lowest in Aiken County, which had a rate of 7.9 percent.

On Thursday, a budget conference committee agreed to a $6 billion spending plan that would give businesses a break on millions of dollars in those collections, a respite that comes after businesses complained about soaring tax rates needed to cover nearly $1 billion in federal loans. The loans were needed after the state's unemployment trust fund went broke in 2009, depleted by years of too-low tax collections that left it unprepared for the recession's layoffs and firings.

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