Two republican governors in two states, but just one re-election strategy: jobs. Recently, WSAV showed you Governor Nathan Deal’s first re-election campaign commercial and truth-tested his claims; and now we have done the same for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Governor Haley, like her counterpart in Georgia, is staking her reelection on her record on jobs. We discovered that the two governors even use the same firm to produce their ads. But Haley’s makes several more job claims we can put into context, such as “fastest growing economy on the east coast.” While the ad does not provide a source, we assume her campaign is basing this claim on Bureau of Economic analysis figures from 2012, which does show South Carolina tied with North Carolina for fastest economic growth on the east coast, and 11th in the nation. But South Carolina’s economic growth appears to be purely a function of population growth. 11th in economic growth, the Palmetto State is also 11th in population growth.
Meanwhile, during Haley’s term, South Carolinians have only seen their individual incomes grow by $1,270. Barely keeping up with inflation and 46th in the nation.
Also in the commercial, “lowest unemployment rate in six years.” On the surface, South Carolina’s unemployment rate is a remarkable success story. Seasonally adjusted, it was just 5.5% percent in March, well ahead of March’s national average of 6.7%. The six-year claim tracks the economic collapse, to the month, to when bear stearns vanished from the markets, and much, if not all, of the rebound appears to be from people leaving the workforce. During Haley’s time in office, South Carolina’sworkforcee has actually shrunk and has shed 21,000 people in just the last twelve months. Meanwhile, South Carolina has added 101,491 people to its population since Haley entered office, which also goes a long way in explaining this next claim that says, “most south carolinians with jobs. ever.”
In the face of all these other claims, there’s also the context of what types of jobs these are. South Carolina is 39th in the nation in hourly earnings and 33rd in weekly earnings.