Among the strongest growth indicators for the coming two years will be the number of new jobs created region-wide — more than 20,000 of them in the next two years — according to the forecast presented during a chamber meeting Thursday. The annual total is higher than the 9,000 jobs created in the region during 2015 — a year in which the chamber predicted just 6,000 new positions.
“Clearly, it’s a very optimistic outlook, but it’s generated by a lot of anecdotal evidence,” said Frank Hefner, a College of Charleston economist who helps to compile the forecast.
Many of the new jobs will be construction-related as Swedish automaker Volvo builds its $500 million plant in Berkeley County and Germany-based Mercedes Benz Vans builds a $500 million facility in North Charleston. Those two manufacturers also will start hiring production workers as they get ready to start building vehicles. Suppliers for the automobile and aerospace industries will continue to move to this area.