A new study shows the economic impact of the military in South Carolina amounts to $15.7 billion dollars in economic activity a year—and more than 138,000 jobs.
Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom chairs the Military Base Task Force that asked for the study. “Part of that (impact) is direct, its direct payrolls paid out to the active duty personnel and to civilian personnel who work on these installations, part of that is the impact of military retirees who have chosen to make South Carolina their home after they finish their military service, and part fo that is the impact of the many Department of Defense contractors in this state,” says Eckstrom.
The S.C. Department of Commerce conducted the study for the task force, and includes the eight installations in South Carolina and the S.C. National Guard.
Deputy Commerce Secretary George Patrick, a former air force general says it shows “These are like big manufacturing facilities. They create a product, they employ people, they do a number of things and that economic activity spins out into the local community, across the state and even outside the borders of South Carolina and the United States.
The state military base task force is making the case for bases in the state as military cuts are coming from different directions. The Department of Defense is already absorbing $490 billion in reductions put into place last year.
Another $600 billion is possible if Congress does not agree on how to cut the federal deficit, or allow themselves to put off the decision, by January 1, 2o13.
The full task force meets Thursday to report on their meetings with South Carolina’s congressmen.