South Carolina Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 138,167 employers, up 3.4% from 133,620
  • 2,097,404 employees, up 2.0% from 2,055,724
  • $901 average weekly wage, up 3.0% from $875
  • The average weekly wage is 23.9% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.7% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 4,547, which is an increase of 3.4%. The number of employees in South Carolina increased by 41,680, an increase of 2.0%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $26, an increase of 3.0%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 4,671 or 3.6%. Growth in private businesses in South Carolina grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 40,961 or 2.4%. The growth in employees of private businesses in South Carolina was faster than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $27 or 3.1%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in South Carolina grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 13.7% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 5.3%. Retail trade (13.1%), which increased by 0.6% and Construction (9.2%), which increased by 4.3%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Utilities5116.1%
Mining and oil extraction129.8%
Educational services1489.8%
Real estate and rental5018.8%
Company management768.1%
Information1937.4%
Professional services9555.3%
Arts and entertainment1035.3%
Transport and warehousing1735.1%
Waste services3954.7%
Construction5204.3%
Agriculture and forestry484.2%
Finance and insurance2763.7%
Healthcare3693.5%
Accommodation and food services3082.8%
Manufacturing1342.2%
Other services2151.8%
Wholesale trade891.0%
Retail trade1050.6%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 12.2% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 4.7% in the last year. Retail trade (11.8%), increased by 0.2% and Accommodation and food services (10.8%), increased by 2.4%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Company management2,82512.9%
Mining and oil extraction1166.9%
Arts and entertainment1,5045.4%
Transport and warehousing3,3935.2%
Manufacturing11,5754.7%
Healthcare7,7153.8%
Educational services9603.7%
Accommodation and food services5,4412.4%
Real estate and rental7012.3%
Wholesale trade1,5712.2%
Professional services2,0362.0%
Other services9571.8%
Waste services2,4831.5%
Construction7600.7%
Retail trade4150.2%
Finance and insurance-194-0.3%
Agriculture and forestry-108-1.0%
Information-704-2.5%
Utilities-485-4.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,444per week compared with the state average of $896. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $452 or 22.7%. Company management ($1,818), rose by $54 or 3.1% and Mining and oil extraction ($1,643) increased by $247 or 17.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$45222.7%
Mining and oil extraction$24717.7%
Real estate and rental$465.2%
Information$635.0%
Finance and insurance$744.8%
Other services$274.3%
Construction$393.9%
Retail trade$203.8%
Waste services$233.5%
Accommodation and food services$113.3%
Arts and entertainment$123.2%
Company management$543.1%
Wholesale trade$362.6%
Healthcare$222.5%
Professional services$272.0%
Transport and warehousing$151.8%
Agriculture and forestry$111.6%
Manufacturing$80.7%
Educational services$-21-3.0%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In South Carolina. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.4% of the businesses in the state (with 8,882 employing 180,421 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 230 more businesses, an increase of 2.7% in the last year. Private households (3.0% of businesses) had 159 fewer businesses, a decline of 3.7% and Computer systems design and related services (2.7% of businesses) added 264 businesses, an increase of 7.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Other leather product manufacturing13108.3%
Satellite telecommunications685.7%
Other gasoline stations5783.8%
Trusts estates and agency accounts1770.8%
Support activities for rail transportation758.3%
Monetary authorities - central bank1555.6%
News syndicates350.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services2647.5%
Restaurants and other eating places2302.7%
Management consulting services2036.6%
Other activities related to real estate14632.6%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1235.8%
Residential building construction1184.8%
Insurance agencies and brokerages1065.0%


Employees by Industry

Private households (3.0% of employees) had 159 fewer employees, a decline of 3.7% and Computer systems design and related services (2.7% ofemployees) added 264 employees, an increase of 7.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Pension funds20196.7%
Trusts estates and agency accounts25143.2%
Political organizations31118.3%
Securities and commodity exchanges8114.3%
Other leather product manufacturing44109.4%
Monetary authorities - central bank2897.7%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.18680.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places3,6602.1%
Commercial banking3,61724.4%
Management of companies and enterprises2,82512.9%
Temporary help services2,3013.3%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing2,24723.6%
Offices of physicians1,8524.7%
Employment placement and executive search1,50537.9%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Private households ($3) and Computer systems design and related services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Private households ($3 per week) were paid $159 less per week, a decline of 3.7% and Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $264 more per week, an increase of 7.5% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Open-end investment funds$2,281223.0%
Fishing$836217.1%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$1,777194.8%
Other financial vehicles$1,722192.6%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,04398.1%
Other leather product manufacturing$60080.0%
Food crops grown under cover$33778.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,04398.1%
Open-end investment funds$2,281223.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$1,777194.8%
Other basic organic chemical manufacturing$1,75356.6%
Other financial vehicles$1,722192.6%
Fishing$836217.1%
Electric power generation$75033.1%


Company Size

South Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in South Carolina by far. 60.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 127,831 small businesses in the state represent 95.3% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) South Carolina added 4,671 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,493 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 168 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 10 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



South Carolina Employees by Business Size

South Carolina added 122,883 employees in the last year, an increase of 7.6% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 61,818 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 93.6% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 38,374 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 22,691 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.4% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

South Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in South Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 6.8% more than the national average ($1,078 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in South Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 41.8% workers below the national average ($1,349 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $106 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $111 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $52 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 2.2% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



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.