The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research and the College of Charleston – School of Business and Economics recently released their 2015 Economic Outlook Forecast, indicating positive impacts in every sector.
“With more than 25,000 new jobs forecast in the region in the next five years, both 2015 and 2016 are expected to see net gains of more than 5,000 jobs—the healthiest gain in several years.”
On the heels of a year packed with several economic development milestones for the region, 2015 looks to have even more economic growth potential. Here are five trends to keep your eye on:
- More people moving to Charleston—South Carolina is now the second-most-popular destination for movers in the United States, according to United Van Lines’ annual Movers Study. One economist predicts this may be part of a larger trend of people seeking locations where “housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above national average.” With 90 miles of coastline, the Charleston metro certainly fits the bill, averaging 43 newcomers a day.
- Welcoming more millennials—A lot of the people moving here are likely to be in their 20’s and 30’s. As noted by a New York Times piece, “Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live,” millennials are now choosing cities other than the typical New York, San Francisco and Washington. Charleston has seen the full effect of this trend—our millennial population has grown 58% during the same time period used in the article’s report, 2000-2012. That’s higher than Nashville (48%), Denver (47%) and Austin (37%) and the top-ranking city, Houston (50%).
- Jobs will continue to grow—The Charleston region ranked as one of the top ten places in the U.S. for job seekers last winter. The survey, by employment services firm ManpowerGroup, ranked each region by the net percentage of employers in each city that plan to hire. With companies like Boeing, Benefitfocus, Daimler, and PeopleMatter adding thousands of new jobs to the region, it’s no surprise Charleston made the list!
- New heights for aviation—A recent study by the Charleston Metro Chamber detailed the economic impact of the Charleston Aviation Complex (which includes Boeing South Carolina, the Charleston County Aviation Authority (CCAA), the Charleston International Airport terminals, and the U.S. Air Force Joint Base Charleston). The results? The complex contributes more than $13.8 billion into the region’s economy, supports 50,000 local jobs, accounts for 40% of the Charleston area’s Gross Metropolitan Product. And Boeing’s latest additions to its operations continues to dramatically expand and diversify the region’s aerospace sector.
- Digging deeper into our startup community—This month marks the third annual DIG SOUTH (the Southeast’s first and only interactive tech festival). The festival, which focuses on creativity, design and technology, aims to make 2015 even “bigger and better,” with more than 200 presenters from companies like Google, BoomTown, Blackbaud, Twitter, BuzzFeed, and Inc. The event will also draw venture capitalists to the region, representing more than $3 billion in managed funds.