PASSAGE OF "JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH"
PLAN CRITICAL TO CHANGE
Columbia, S.C. - November 21, 2003 - Governor Mark Sanford today issued the following statement on South Carolina's October unemployment figures, which showed an increase in the state's unemployment rate from 6.4% to 7.1% - the highest increase our state has seen this year as well as the largest one-month percentage increase in unemployment in the entire nation:
"These unemployment numbers make the case for our economic plan far better than anything I could say or anyone else could say," said Gov. Sanford. "I don't think you have to look any further than these numbers and the 144,000 lives they represent here in South Carolina to see how critical it is for our jobs and economic growth plan to get passed - and get passed this session. When you're one of only three states in the entire country with an unemployment rate that's higher than 7%, when you're historically trailing the rest of the nation in employment and when you've got the highest increase in unemployment in the whole country, you've clearly got a structural problem and you clearly need to change the status quo. Our plan is specifically designed to create jobs - and if there were any doubt job-creating tax reform is long-overdue in South Carolina these numbers should go a long way toward continuing to erase it."
In large part due to accelerated economic activity during the last two quarters (stimulated in part by income tax relief at the federal level), national unemployment has dropped or held steady for the fourth consecutive month after peaking at 6.4% in June. The national unemployment rate dropped from 6.1% to 6.0% in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.