South Carolina Business Recruitment Tops $4.2 Billion in 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina posted another solid business recruitment year in 2015, with capital investment recruited to the state topping $4 billion. From January to December 2015, the state won 150 economic development projects, totaling $4.21 billion in capital investment and 17,280 jobs by new and expanding businesses. Reflecting South Carolina’s position as a manufacturing stronghold, the manufacturing sector comprised 56 percent of new jobs, with 9,680 manufacturing jobs recruited in 2015. Additionally, the sector accounted for $3.6 billion in capital investment recruited, representing 86 percent of the annual total.

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While maintaining its position as a leader in manufacturing, South Carolina also continued to diversify its economy. Service-sector projects, including warehouse and distribution operations, comprised 44 percent of jobs recruited last year. Illustrating this diversity, projects by service-related firms Red Ventures, Movement Mortgage, LLC, Amazon, Inc., Dollar Tree and Moneypenny accounted for five of the top 10 announcements of 2015, when ranked by number of jobs. The state also successfully recruited projects in the processing and research and development categories.

“While South Carolina continues to be a leader in the manufacturing renaissance, our economy truly is thriving in multiple sectors,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Cultivating a healthy, diverse economy in all communities across South Carolina is critical.”

In an effort to bring economic development to communities of all sizes, the state’s rural areas remained a priority. In 2015, the state recruited 5,038 jobs to counties with Tier III or IV designations, comprising 29 percent of jobs being added to South Carolina’s economy.

While the location of new companies to the state led in both investment and job recruitment in 2014, existing industry expansions represented the majority in both categories in 2015. Existing companies committed to creating 9,800 new jobs, accounting for 57 percent of last year’s recruited total. Meanwhile, capital investments planned by existing industry constituted 59 percent ($2.48 billion) of the annual recruitment results.

“The success of existing industry in our state is paramount and allows us to build on our global reputation as an ideal location to do business,” said Secretary Hitt.

International investment again represented an important part of the state’s business recruitment, with 56 percent of capital investment recruited last year and 37 percent of new jobs tied to companies headquartered in foreign countries. Firms based in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Japan represented the top contributors to foreign direct investment in South Carolina in 2015.

South Carolina earned several accolades by economic development publications in 2015, including a Gold Shovel award by Area Development magazine. The same publication also named South Carolina the number three state on its annual Top States for Doing Business survey. Additionally, for the third time in four years, IBM-Plant Location International ranked South Carolina first in attracting jobs through foreign investment, per capita.