The aerospace industry contributes $14.1 billion annually to South Carolina’s economy, according to a University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business economist.
Dr. Joseph Von Nessen conducted the study at the request of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, which is hosting the annual Aerospace Conference and Expo this week in Columbia.
“It’s expanded to $24.8 billion (since a similar 2016 study),” he said. “It’s a sizeable economic footprint in South Carolina and it has continued to expand in the last few years, seeing very steady growth.”
The research claims the aerospace sector has created nearly 55,000 jobs and brought 335 firms to the state since 2010. That was the year after Boeing announced it would assemble new airliners in North Charleston.
“Throughout this expansion period that goes back to effectively 2009, is that a principal driver for growth in our state has been advanced manufacturing in general, and the aerospace sector in particular,” he said.
He said employees in the state’s aerospace industry earn, on average, over $36,000 more than the average South Carolina worker.
“One of the things that South Carolina is actively doing to help advance wage growth, in light of the fact that it has been fairly modest throughout this expansion, is to help build industries and support sectors that are generating high-wage positions,” Von Nessen said.
Von Nessen will present his findings at the South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo on Thursday.