South Carolina has one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. and one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the region and nation, according to a recent U.S. Commerce Department, Bureau of Economic Analysis report.
The report ranked South Carolina’s economy as the 12th fastest growing in the nation, coupled with the fastest growing manufacturing Gross Domestic Product on the East Coast.
Manufacturing in the Palmetto State breaks down into five primary subsectors: Food; Chemical; Plastics and Rubber; Fabricated Metal; and Machinery Manufacturing.
These primary subsectors along with others formed the industry’s estimated 224,533 workers in 2013, the most recent data available.
Source: Quarterly Census of Employment & Wage
Though the manufacturing industry has had an extremely rough past decade, as the average employment dropped 7,400 per year, the figures vary largely with the financial well-being of the economy as the number of companies dropped sharply in 2003, 2007, and 2009.
Manufacturing employment has made an extreme turn around, going from decreasing fairly constantly to increasing at a substantial growth rate. According to the Department of Commerce, the manufacturing sector comprised 68 percent of new jobs and 82 percent of capital investment (10,442 jobs and $4.5 billion in investment) in 2013.
If you’re thinking about starting a career in this booming industry sector, check out the top occupations in 2013 and the most requested manufacturing certifications by employers as of June 2014.
Top 10 South Carolina manufacturing occupations in 2013:
- Team Assemblers
- First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
- Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
- Helpers–Production Workers
- Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
- Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
- Slaughterers and Meat Packers
- Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
- Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
Source: Occupational Employment Statistics
Top manufacturing certifications requested by employers in South Carolina as of June 2014:
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration certification
- Food safety programs
- Material Handling Equipment
- Automotive supply chain quality management certification
- Forklift certification
- Certified Welding Inspector
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers certification
- American Production and Inventory Control Society certification
- Top Secret Sensitive Clearance
- First Aid certification
Source: The Conference Board Help Wanted Online® data series Outlook
A longer version of this article originally appeared in Insights, a publication of the S.C. Department and Workforce’s Business Intelligence Department. Read previous Insights articles here.