State is now home to 4,870 manufacturers employing 262,431 workers.
Industrial employment in South Carolina increased 2.3% over the past twelve months according to the 2013 South Carolina Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports South Carolina gained 5,934 manufacturing jobs over the past year.
Manufacturers' News reports South Carolina is now home to 4,870 manufacturers employing 262,431 workers.
"South Carolina continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Its reasonable labor costs and educated workforce have made it easier for manufacturers to do business, drawing major companies to the state."
Bright spots over the year included Caterpillar's expansion of its hydraulic facility in Sumter, and the opening of Chinese candy maker Au'Some's new plant, also in Sumter. Honda announced an expansion of its Timmonsville factory, moving production from a facility in Mexico; Bluestar Silicones broke ground on a new plant in York; U.S. Fibers expanded its Trenton plant; and Johnson Controls opened a battery recycling facility in Florence.
MNI reports industrial machinery remains South Carolina's largest manufacturing sector by employment with 34,766 jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Transportation equipment manufacturing has overtaken textiles/apparel as the state's second-largest sector following a 19% increase from continued hiring at Boeing's North Charleston plant and BMW's facility in Greer, among others. The transportation equipment sector currently accounts for 31,475 jobs. Third-ranked textiles/apparel employs 27,366 South Carolina workers, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months.
Other sectors that reported gains for the year included lumber/wood, up 5.3%; primary metals, up 3.7%; food products, up 1.9%; electronics, up 1.4%; and chemicals, up 1%. Losses were seen in furniture/fixtures, down 5.4%; fabricated metals, down 3.4%; stone/clay/glass, down 1.6%; and printing/publishing, down 1.3%.
Industrial locations announcing closures included Roseburg Forest Products' plants in St. Stephen and Orangeburg; Freeman Millwork in Manning; and Guardian Building Products in Winnsboro.
According to the Register, South Carolina's Northwest region accounts for the largest share of industrial employment with 166,178 manufacturing jobs, up 1.9% from a year ago. The Northeast region ranks second at 44,707 manufacturing jobs, up 1% over the year. The Southeast region of the state is home to 32,041 industrial jobs, up 8.5%, while the Southwest is home to 19,505 jobs, down a half percent.
MNI data shows Greenville is South Carolina's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 23,885 jobs, up 4.8% over the past year. Second-ranked Spartanburg accounts for 14,656 jobs, with employment down 1%. North Charleston ranks third in the state with 9,900 industrial jobs, up 3,000 jobs over the year. Greer now ranks fourth with 11,184 industrial jobs, up 16.2%, while Columbia is home to 9,604 industrial jobs, virtually unchanged over the past year.
Edited from a press release from Manufacturers' News.