South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is boasting about job numbers in speeches and interviews, repeatedly saying she's thrilled about the 10,000 jobs announced since she took office in January. A close look at the number shows that Haley's tally is both overstated and easily misinterpreted.
Thousands of the positions will not arrive in South Carolina for years. Some actually were announced before she took office. Hundreds are the fruit of a deal that Haley tried to derail.
After repeated questioning by The Associated Press, the state changed its jobs total several times before finally lowering it to about 9,000 positions; 4,000 of those are with Wal-Mart.
To be sure, even the revised tally after Haley's first six months in office is encouraging for a state long suffering with high unemployment rates - 10 percent as of the May jobless report. Haley said Friday that yet-to-be-announced deals that bring three employers and expand two others were finalized during the Paris Air Show that she and her husband attended last month. And the head of the state manufacturers association says he's pleased the governor has been aggressively recruiting employers as she promised she would while campaigning.
"Her job is to recruit. So far, we like what we see," said president and CEO Lewis Gossett. "One thing we've heard from companies that she talks with, and our members, and people involved is that she's pretty darn good with negotiations."