Upstate pulled 31% of state capital investment

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Upstate counties drew in more than $1.3 billion in capital investment last year, more than 31 percent of the state’s $4.2 billion in total capital investment for 2015, according to data from Upstate Business Journal and SC Department of Commerce. Upstate counties also accounted for 34 percent of jobs recruited last year, or 5,867 of the state’s total 17,280 recorded recruitment.

The 2015 state totals dropped from last year, and fell behind totals for 2013 and 2011, according to SC Department of Commerce news releases. The department posted 2014 capital investment totals of $5.01 billion and 19,020 jobs, which was the third-highest for the state.

The largest deals for the state included Volvo Car Group and Mercedes-Benz Vans, with capital investments of $500 million each, while the largest between the 10 Upstate counties was the $104.4 million DollarTree project in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties. The top three grossing counties by announced and unannounced investment dollars were Spartanburg, Greenville and Laurens counties respectively, though top job creation counties were Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties respectively.

The manufacturing sector accounted for 56 percent of new jobs, which totaled 9,680 in 2015, and for $3.6 billion – or 86 percent – of the total state recorded capital investment for the year. Service-sector projects such as warehouse and distribution operations accounted for 44 percent of jobs recruited, according to an SC Department of Commerce news release.

Existing industry expansions represented the majority of capital investment and job creation in 2015, a change from 2014 in which the location or relocation of new companies to the state led in both categories. International sources accounted for 56 percent of capital investment and 37 percent of new jobs, while 29 percent of total new jobs were created in rural counties with Tier III or Tier IV designations.

“While South Carolina continues to be a leader in the manufacturing renaissance, our economy truly is thriving in multiple sectors,” stated Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Cultivating a healthy, diverse economy in all communities across South Carolina is critical.”

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