Although the Greenville area has the lowest percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees or higher compared to nearby metros, it reclaimed and gained more office-using jobs since the recession than the rest of the state.
A study by Colliers International looked at “brain hubs,” or cities in which a high percentage of the population over 25 years old has earned at least a bachelor’s degree. Office-using employment included financial activities, information and professional and business services.
Colliers found that brain hubs have seen the most rapid improvement since the recession. The Greenville-Mauldin-Easley metro statistical area (MSA) had the lowest level of educational attainment at 25 percent compared with seven areas in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Yet the Greenville MSA recovered better than the Columbia, Charleston and Savannah, Ga., MSAs overall, and regained a higher percentage of lost jobs than Atlanta did.
Jessica Dib, statewide research coordinator with Colliers, said information is also doing well, but the other two sectors play a larger role in office-using employment. TD Bank, a large employer in Greenville, significantly contributes to financial services employment.
Another part of the explanation is a movement of people from Columbia to Greenville for work. Also, an increase in postgraduate education options, such as the relocation of Clemson’s business and real estate programs to Greenville, she said.
The Raleigh and Durham MSA unsurprisingly had the highest percentage of bachelor’s degrees, and highest percent recovery of office-using jobs.