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Commerce head: Job pipeline in SC 'phenomenal'

Dec 7, 2010 7:35:00 PM - thestate.com
The head of South Carolina's Commerce Department said Tuesday that jobs are on the way to a state long battered by high unemployment.

"Our state's extraordinarily well positioned for the future," said Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor, the state's chief recruiter since 2006. "The job pipeline for the next couple of years is phenomenal."

His comments came at the final cabinet meeting of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's two terms. The governor asked agency heads to cite how they have improved the lives of South Carolinians, and he saved Taylor's talk for last.

South Carolina's jobless rate has remained above the national average throughout Sanford's tenure, hitting an all-time high of 12.5 percent in January. The most recent report, from October, shows it at 10.7 percent, still the nation's sixth-highest. It represented 230,600 residents unable to find work.

But Taylor noted South Carolina led the Southeast in job recruitment last year and had its best year in 2008, when it attracted nearly 19,000 jobs.