COLUMBIA — Get used to working as hard as you are these days, if you have a job, because things aren’t expected to change much anytime soon.
That’s the message from South Carolina’s chief economic forecaster John Rainey following Thursday’s Board of Economic Advisors’ review of revenue collections and unemployment trends.
“The people who are doing the jobs now are going to continue to do those jobs and be glad they have those jobs,” Rainey said.
South Carolina’s monthly unemployment rate averaged 12 percent until June, while the national rate has averaged 9.8 percent.
Rainey said it will be until 2016 that unemployment is projected to drop back down to 5 percent, and by that time the state and country might be in another recession. Full employment will be viewed at 7 percent, or 7.5 percent, as it was in the 1970s, and not the more modern standard of 5 percent, Rainey said.
“I think high unemployment, unfortunately, is here to stay,” he said. “We got spoiled with Presidents Reagan, Bush one, Clinton and Bush two and we’re going to have to find some way to get unspoiled.”
Contributing to a high unemployment rate sustained over time is the global market place, technology and productivity and the ability and desire for businesses to borrow money and expand operations, Rainey said. Productivity is at record levels and technology is reducing the need for manpower — those two competing forces relieve the pressure for businesses to hire more workers.
Read more in Friday’s editions of The Post and Courier.