With now 4,870 manufacturers employing 262,431 workers, industrial employment in South Carolina grew 2.3 percent in the past year, according to the 2013 South Carolina Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News in Evanston, Ill.
This marks an increase of 5,934 jobs since 2011.
"South Carolina continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "Its reasonable labor costs and educated work force have made it easier for manufacturers to do business, drawing major companies to the state."
Industrial machinery continues to rank as South Carolina's largest manufacturing sector by employment with 34,766 jobs for no significant change, MNI finds. Transportation equipment manufacturing comes in next with 31,475 jobs, representing a 19 percent jump, particularly from hiring at Boeing's North Charleston plant and BMW's facility in Greer. Following is textiles and apparel with 27,366 jobs, which marks no significant change.
Of the other sectors that recorded gains are lumber and wood at 5.3 percent, primary metals at 3.7 percent, food products at 1.9 percent, electronics at 1.4 percent and chemicals at 1 percent, according to MNI. Sectors with losses are furniture and fixtures at minus 5.4 percent; fabricated metals at minus 3.4 percent; stone, clay and glass at minus 1.6 percent; and printing and publishing at minus 1.3 percent.
MNI finds that Northwest South Carolina encompasses the greatest share of industrial employment with 166,178 jobs, a 1.9 percent increase, followed by Northeast South Carolina with 44,707 jobs, a growth of 1 percent. Southeast South Carolina employs 32,041 workers, an 8.5 percent uptick, while Southwest South Carolina dropped by 0.5 percent to 19,505 jobs.
Greenville rates as South Carolina’s top city for manufacturing employment with 23,885 jobs, up 4.8 percent, MNI reports. Spartanburg comes in second with 14,656 jobs, a decrease of 1 percent. Third-ranked North Charleston employs 9,900 workers, marking 3,000 more jobs. Next is Greer as it is home to 11,184 jobs, a growth of 16.2 percent, and Columbia accounts for 9,604 jobs for no significant change.