South Carolina Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 23,162 more businesses
  • 327,232 more employees
  • 18.5% increase in total wages
  • $7,928 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 21.6% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in South Carolina has grown by 20.4% (8.9% greater than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in South Carolina has grown by 18.5% (4.9% greater than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 21.5% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 4.2% less than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in South Carolina of $859 is 28.2% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 23.9% a widening of 4.3% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Professional services sector has the most businesses in the state of South Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 12,152 to 18,616, a gain of 53.2%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Professional services18,61612,15253.2%
Retail trade18,11116,7498.1%
Construction12,55412,730-1.4%
Other services11,99110,68812.2%
Accommodation and food services11,0358,73726.3%
Healthcare10,6598,43226.4%
Wholesale trade8,8788,6432.7%
Waste services8,5776,72827.5%
Finance and insurance7,6356,69814.0%
Manufacturing6,2774,98825.8%
Real estate and rental5,9054,50531.1%
Transport and warehousing3,4982,74727.3%
Information2,7161,69060.7%
Arts and entertainment2,0361,58228.7%
Educational services1,5791,03253.0%
Agriculture and forestry1,1841,04513.3%
Company management978482102.9%
Utilities33424436.9%
Mining and oil extraction13111612.9%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Professional services sector, which has increased by 53.2% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Construction sector, which has declined by 1.4% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Retail trade sector has the most employees in the state of South Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 223,849 to 251,578, a gain of 12.4%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Retail trade251,578223,84912.4%
Manufacturing249,586213,83716.7%
Accommodation and food services232,007181,92827.5%
Healthcare208,202165,42225.9%
Waste services170,610113,98049.7%
Construction104,28488,65817.6%
Professional services102,07672,91240.0%
Wholesale trade72,01165,28110.3%
Finance and insurance69,76768,2332.2%
Transport and warehousing66,85945,08948.3%
Other services53,61248,54310.4%
Arts and entertainment31,69426,60819.1%
Real estate and rental31,02127,38013.3%
Information28,19727,1973.7%
Educational services26,00220,02129.9%
Company management22,18014,52152.7%
Utilities12,01112,739-5.7%
Agriculture and forestry10,93111,349-3.7%
Mining and oil extraction1,7241,33928.8%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Waste services sector, which has increased by 49.7% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Utilities sector, which has declined by 5.7% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Utilities sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of South Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,380 to $1,725, a gain of 25.0%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Utilities$1,725$1,38025.0%
Company management$1,540$1,20927.4%
Professional services$1,360$1,08825.0%
Finance and insurance$1,325$99533.2%
Wholesale trade$1,314$1,02428.3%
Mining and oil extraction$1,292$80261.1%
Information$1,186$94725.2%
Manufacturing$1,144$90326.7%
Construction$1,012$77430.7%
Healthcare$904$75120.4%
Real estate and rental$874$63038.7%
Transport and warehousing$832$70018.9%
Educational services$709$61415.5%
Agriculture and forestry$698$52931.9%
Waste services$658$59011.5%
Other services$634$49727.6%
Retail trade$533$46115.6%
Arts and entertainment$378$33313.5%
Accommodation and food services$342$27922.6%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Mining and oil extraction sector, which has increased by 61.1% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Arts and entertainment sector, which has declined by 13.5% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of South Carolina. This industry currently has 8,805 businesses in it. There is no direct comparison to the total at the end of recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Private households4,3593,9679.9%
Computer systems design and related services3,6941,608129.7%
Management consulting services3,2241,87771.8%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,9173,274-10.9%
Offices of lawyers2,6502,34413.1%
Residential building construction2,5472,868-11.2%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Computer systems design and related services industry, which has increased by 129.7% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Wholesale trade agents and brokers industry, which has declined by 10.9% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of South Carolina. This industry currently has 184,639 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Temporary help services70,57932,547116.9%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores40,47437,1109.1%
Offices of physicians40,02230,67030.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals34,33634,380-0.1%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels29,93225,30418.3%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Temporary help services industry, which has increased by 116.9% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the General medical and surgical hospitals industry, which has declined by 0.1% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Footwear manufacturing industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of South Carolina. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $0 to $6,839, a gain of 0.0%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Health and welfare funds$5,312$6,334-16.1%
Petroleum refineries$5,193$1,196334.2%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,865$3,27618.0%
Other financial vehicles$3,514$934276.2%
Securities brokerage$2,883$1,94348.4%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,378$855178.1%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Petroleum refineries industry, which has increased by 334.2% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Health and welfare funds industry, which has declined by 16.1% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 61 to 81, which is an increase of 32.8%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 18,939 to 19,573, which is an increase of 3.3%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees78,33864,00422.4%
5-9 Employees19,57318,9393.3%
10-19 Employees14,83512,25821.0%
20-49 Employees10,6318,35827.2%
50-99 Employees3,5152,81824.7%
100-249 Employees1,9191,53125.3%
250-499 Employees48239920.8%
500-999 Employees16212727.6%
More Than 1,000 Employees816132.8%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 108,359 to 149,991, which is an increase of 38.4%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 123,699 to 129,488, which is an increase of 4.7%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees112,162104,5287.3%
5-9 Employees129,488123,6994.7%
10-19 Employees198,907163,65421.5%
20-49 Employees319,457248,87428.4%
50-99 Employees238,144191,11324.6%
100-249 Employees283,891224,32626.6%
250-499 Employees162,266134,96320.2%
500-999 Employees108,68486,65725.4%
More Than 1,000 Employees149,991108,35938.4%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $690 to $1,055, which is an increase of 52.9%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $889 to $1,052, which is an increase of 18.3%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$1,055$69052.9%
5-9 Employees$775$58432.7%
10-19 Employees$737$58825.3%
20-49 Employees$730$58325.2%
50-99 Employees$772$59729.3%
100-249 Employees$816$67520.9%
250-499 Employees$958$70935.1%
500-999 Employees$1,052$88918.3%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,338$1,06525.6%



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.