COLUMBIA — 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.'
After AP questioned items on a detailed list provided by the governor's office, which totaled 9,922 jobs, an updated list deleted some lines and added others, bringing the new tally to 10,210 — raising more questions about seemingly nonexistent announcements and some announced last year.
A third list provided Friday night, listing 14 fewer companies, totaled 9,400 jobs. Further questions saw the number shrink to about 9,000. Commerce Department spokeswoman Amy Love said companies had been listed prematurely, and their job announcements are forthcoming.
The use of the phrasing of 10,000 jobs 'announced' — touted in interviews, at events and through social media — is not only inaccurate but also is subject to interpretation. While some employers are hiring this year, thousands of those jobs are only promised to come online over the next five years. The list also includes hundreds of jobs with Amazon.com that Haley fought.
House Minority Leader Harry Ott called it a stretch for Haley to take credit for those after her public opposition to a sales tax-collection deal negotiated under former Gov. Mark Sanford nearly sank the project.
'Those jobs have been created, but quite frankly with no help from her,' said Ott, D-St. Matthews.
The 750 jobs counted on the governor's list represent the difference between the 1,250 jobs the online retailer promised in December and the 2,000 jobs the company pledged to sweeten the proposal and get it through the Legislature.
She acknowledged counting jobs that did not involve the state, saying it's important to celebrate all jobs. She also acknowledged that some of the deals were handled before she took office.
Gov. Nikki Haley has been boasting her administration has announced 10,000 jobs since she took office Jan. 12.
An analysis of the breakdown provided by the governor's office revealed the list included hundreds of jobs still in the works and some previously announced. Here's a look at the final tally from the Commerce agency, which considers jobs were announced if it issued a news release, Haley held a news conference or media wrote about a company's plans:
Company | Jobs | County
Wal-Mart 4,000 Statewide
Amazon 750 Lexington
Amy's Kitchen 700 Greenville
CertusBank 350 Greenville
Tanger Outlets 350 Beaufort
Perceptis 350 Greenville
Atlantic Beverage Inc. 300 Spartanburg
Michelin North America 270 Lexington
Be Green Packaging 175 Jasper
Draexlmaier Automotive 150 Spartanburg
ECAPS Corp. 150 Marlboro
Tire Intl. Environmental 150 Berkeley
DHL Global Forwarding 140 Lexington
Daniel Defense Inc. 100 Jasper
ESAB Welding & Cutting 100 Union
New Breed Logistics 100 Berkeley
Showa Denko Carbon Inc. 100 Dorchester
Textile Trends 100 Union
Centrex Plastics 80 York
PRETTL Electronics 80 Greenville
Automation Engineering 78 Greenville
Altera Polymers 75 Oconee
Interstate Container 60 Lexington
Flame Spray SpA 50 Laurens
Guardian Industries Corp. 50 Chester
VCI Inc. 50 Pickens
Carolina AAC 36 Marlboro
Apex Tool Group 33 Sumter
3V Inc. 30 Georgetown
Le Creuset of America 25 Hampton
CollinsCraft Corp. 20 Oconee
InterWrap Inc. 20 Charleston
Boysen USA 15 Cherokee
Elliott Sawmilling Co. 15 Hampton
Pharmaceutical Associates 15 Greenville
ADEX Machining Technologies 10 Greenville
Sumter Packaging Corp. 10 Sumter
*A Commerce Department news release on Jan. 12 announced 200 call center jobs pledged over five years, but the agency insists the expectation is higher now.
Source: South Carolina Commerce Department