South Carolina does not receive very much national attention for its economy. Consider this an unfortunate oversight on the part of the media. South Carolina seems to be doing quite well as indicated by the decline in its jobless rate. The jobless rate in South Carolina is 5.2%, which is a 15-year low.
Two segments of the economy that contributed to the low jobless rate were the government sector and professional/business services. Unfortunately, manufacturing and construction continue to do poorly. A common misconception about improving economies is that things improve equally across the board in all industries. Such is not – and never will be – the case. Unemployment figures are an average.
In a way, the unemployment figures in other states can have an effect on what occurs in South Carolina. South Carolina has a number of wonderful, beautiful beaches that make the state perfect vacation destinations. In order for tourists to travel to the beaches of South Carolina, they must have disposable income. States that have not seen much of an economic recovery are going to send fewer tourists South Carolina’s way. Wage stagnation and middling unemployment numbers due cut into tourism and industries related to tourism. Ironically, no matter how well South Carolina recovers, the state is still going to be at the mercy – to a degree – of economic conditions in other regions.
Such an outcome should be expected. The laws of economics do not exist in a vacuum. The economy of the United States often revolves around not only the economic relationships between the 50 states, Canada, and Mexico, but also countries outside of North America. Ripple effects happen for good and bad.