Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday that more 40,000 new jobs have been announced since she took office in January 2011.
The state has announced 301 projects – 126 new facilities and 175 expansions -- during Haley's administration, her office said. A pair of expansions by Belk and Flame Spray that could add up to 215 jobs were announced Wednesday.
In a statement, Haley, who is seeking re-election next year, credited the projects with helping lower the state's unemployment rate to a five-year low.
Her office did not provide a breakdown of how many of the 40,000 promised jobs have been filled. "There is nothing more important than getting South Carolinians back to work and it will remain our top priority going forward,” she said in a statement.
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State commerce secretary Bobby Hitt said South Carolina have added manufacturing jobs at nearly double the rate of North Carolina and Georgia during Haley's term. About 24,000 manufacturing jobs have been announced.
The statement from the governor's office included supportive comments from and Lewis Gossett, president of the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance, which gave Haley the "Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award" at a dinner last week, and Otis Rawl, president of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, which appears to be backing Haley after not endorsing her in her 2010 election.
"Gov. Haley has made job creation her No. 1 priority since taking office and she has delivered, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” Rawl said in his statement. “Gov. Haley has kept a laser focus on job creation by ensuring every county has new industry and growth.”