Blog Archives

North Charleston Leading Local Economy

The Post and Courier noted that WalletHub’s list of cities that have seen the best recovery since the Great Recession ranked N CHS at #21 nationally, of 505 cities across the US based on 18 key economic indicators.  Only the city of Charleston (#27) and Columbia (#84) made the list from SC.

Recycling Operation Bringing 200 jobs to Rural Berkeley County

Rural Berkeley County will get 200 more jobs, thanks to a local tire recycler and a Chinese chemical company.  David Wren has the story here.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs ! The Party Continues

If you are wondering who is buying all the new houses around town or you’ve been thinking that I-26 or Johnnie Dodds traffic is a little heavier than usual, your gut is spot on.  The CHS region’s economy continues to build steam and create more and more jobs as shown in the table below from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  From the economic trough in 2009-10 – where we were at 286k jobs – that increased a modest 8k jobs in 2011 then 10k in 2012, slowing to 7k in 2013, and now 10-11k for 2014 and 2015, or a fairly robust 3.3-3.4% annual increase.  Also interesting to note that we eclipsed the pre-Great Recession peak of almost 302k jobs during 2012 and have not looked back, now 10.4% higher than that high watermark.  And that will continue well into 2017 and 2018 with expansions planned by Volvo, Mercedes, Boeing and others.

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CHS Call Center Adding 310 Jobs

David Wren of The Post and Courier reports that CHS-HQ’d Call Experts, a telephone answering service with operations also in Atlanta, Charlotte and NJ, is expanding and will add some 310 jobs over the next five years, quadrupling its CHS workforce of 96 employees.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – 21k MORE in Next 2 Years

The Charleston Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Forecast was presented by Mary Graham, Chief Advancement Officer, on Monday to a packed house at the N CHS Convention Center and the good news continues, with a forecast of 21,000 net new jobs to be created in the next two years – 10k in 2016 and 11k in 2017.  The largest job gains in 2015 – Leisure and Hospitality (+6.7%), Education and Healthcare (+4.4%), Information (+3.8%), Professional and Business Services (+3.7%) and Manufacturing (+2.8%).  All sectors experienced net gains last year.

Though not as much detail on the job front as above, David Wren of The Post and Courier has an article on the event – where Katrina Fjording, VP of Purchasing and Manufacturing of Volvo Car Group revealed that Volvo plans to export some 30k cars a year and utilize some 65 DAILY 40′ containers at the ports, all continued evidence that CHS is hitting on all cylinders and we are just getting started…

And you thought traffic was bad on I-526 yesterday…


CHS Job Growth Up A Solid 3.0% in Past 12 Months

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the tri-county CHS economy created 9,900 jobs in the past 12 months (Dec. 2014-Nov. 2015) or a solid (and sustainable) 3.0% growth.  The biggest winner was Leisure and Hospitality gaining 10.2% followed by Education and Health Services, up 7.0%.  Losers were Information at -1.9% (but by far the smallest employment sector accounting for only 5,300 jobs total) and Financial Activities, down 1.5%, also a very small employment category in the region.  As you can see below, the CHS job engine exceeded that of the nation every month last year, followed by a breakdown of total jobs and growth for each over the past 12 months (comparing Nov. 2014 to Nov. 2015).

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Exciting Times In CHS and Tech Employment

A few items to note from various sources on the CHS economy and the local technology and employment boom.  CHS is now home to some 200 tech companies, and the CHS tech economy is reportedly growing 26% faster than the national average, according to a recent Post and Courier article.  Consider:

From The Charleston Regional Development Alliance, 4 things to look out for:

  • SC is now the 2nd most-popular destination for movers in the US according to United Van Lines with some 43 newcomers a day;
  • Most of those movers are Millennials – people in their 20s and 30-somethings, with a Millennial population that has grown 58% from 2000-2012, higher than Nashville, Denver, Austin and Houston
  • Job Growth will continue led by Boeing, BenefitFocus, Daimler, and PeopleMatter, and now Volvo; and,
  • Aviation, a growing industry, supports 50k local jobs and accounts for $13.8B (thats a B for Billion) to the local economy.

CRDA also reports CHS is the #2 fastest-growing mid-size metro area for computer software engineers (Avalanche Consulting Headlight Data System, 2013), #5 of the Best Performing U.S. Metro Areas for High Tech GDP Growth (Milliken Institute, 2013), and #6 Fastest-growing software development region in the U.S. (Avalanche).

Thanks to Burnet Maybank, III, Esq., of Nexsen Pruet in downtown CHS.

Corps’ Approves Wetland Permit for $500M Volvo Plant

The Army Corps of Engineers approved a wetland permit for some 195 acres of a total 2,800 Volvo (and probably some suppliers) will use as Volvo prepares to start preparing the Ridgeville site this Fall and start vertical construction in 2016 with plans to hire 2,000 workers and start making its first US-built cars in 2018.  John McDermott of The Post and Courier has the story on the wetland permit approval…

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Volvo Chooses Charleston For Auto Plant and Up to 4,000 Jobs

Gov. Nikki Haley will announce today that Volvo has picked a site near Ridgeville, about 30 miles northwest of downtown CHS and just 10 miles or so past suburban Summerville for its first U.S. automobile plant that will create up to some 4k jobs over the next decade.  The decision, according to Volvo officials, was based on:  access to the Port of CHS, infrastructure, a well-trained labor force, attractive investment environment and experience in high-tech manufacturing.  The initial phase will be for a 2k-worker assembly plant with a second phase to potentially double that, but would multiply when suppliers that need to be nearby are included.  Dr. Frank Hefner of The College of Charleston estimated the economic impact of the Volvo plant to be about $4.8B.  This is all on the heels of April’s announcement that Daimler Chrysler will build a $500M manufacturing facility in N CHS to make Mercedes Sprinter vans, creating 1,400 jobs there, and certainly Boeing’s 2009 announcement to build the 787 DreamLiner in CHS and their 2013 announcement to invest another $1B in their facilities here.   David Wren of The Post and Courier has the Volvo announcement.

Wabco Plans $17M Auto Parts Plant in N CHS

Wabco Holdings Inc. will build a $17M, 145k SF plant to manufacture auto parts, specifically advanced air-disc brakes and energy efficient compressors for trucks and buses.  They will hire 50 new positions at the new plant located off of Patriot Blvd., to replace its existing facility off Leeds Avenue in Lower N CHS.  David Wren has the story for The Post and Courier.