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SC County Income and Job Growth 2000-2004


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Here is a link to an article from The State:


To summarize, the article discusses the growth in income and number of jobs in SC counties between 2000 and 2004. Basically, only 11 of 46 counties in the state increased BOTH income and number of jobs during those four years (generally, the others fell down on job creation rather than income growth). 7 of the 11 counties are the coastal area counties, including Charleston. 3 of the 11 were suburban/exurban Columbia counties, including Lexington and Kershaw Counties (both in Columbia's MSA) and Newberry County (in Columbia's CSA). The last of the 11 was York, which is obviously benefiting greatly from spillover growth from Charlotte.

Richland, Greenville, and Spartanburg saw increases in pay but stagnation or losses in jobs.

Obviously there was a recession during this time. The article also faults globalization and the loss of manufacturing jobs (many replaced by lower paying service sector jobs).

The article was of interest to me since it seems to confirm what the county population estimates from the Census Bureau suggest (the topic of previous threads).

Basically, it seems the coastal areas really are the high growth areas in the state during the current decade. Much of this growth centers on Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Beaufort/Hilton Head. How much of the job growth in these areas consists of lower wage service jobs of course may be an issue.

The other area that really seems to be growing fast is York County with Charlotte's suburban influences.

Some areas around Columbia are growing okay, but the growth seems to be more in the suburban/exurban counties rather than in Richland.

As with the county population estimates since 2000, the Upstate does not seem to be growing as fast as the coast (Charleston, etc.), suburban Charlotte in SC, and even the Columbia area. This seems true when looking at the hard numbers for both population and job growth. This seems odd when looking at some of the projects and successes that the Upstate has had. I suppose the Upstate though is really getting hit in some of the manufacturing sectors (e.g., textiles).

Any comments or ideas?

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Like you said, the process of losing of the textile industry has hit the Upstate hard. Even Milliken, which was seemly untouchable, has had to close a couple of plants. Things like NAFTA and CAFTA basicly ensure that this will happen quicker. Shedding an old industry and building a new one takes alot of time. I believe ICAR will help alot in attracting new high tech industries to the area. It may be time to start looking for another big industry to locate in the area. Another auto manufacturer would be great. What I know for certain is that the Upstate can no longer rely on the textile industry as a base, and this transition period may have slowed things down, but the area is still growing like mad. Don't forget, more people moved to Greenville County than any other county in the state between 200 and 2004.

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well...I did some spot checks for NC and Mecklenburg and Guilford counties appear to be down over the same period, while Wake county is up. Also, Richland was showing a gain in jobs from the data I reviewed. Interestingly enough, what the article didn't say is almost as important as what it said. There was a drop off across the board (except in Charleston County and Wake County, NC) of the areas I checked, but since 2002 all of these areas have been steadily increasing. You can conduct your own research at http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/outside.jsp?survey=en

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