Brookings Report Places Charleston among Top Ten in U.S. for International Jobs


According to the latest report from the Brookings Institution, Charleston ranks as the No. 9 metro area in the U.S. for the largest share of international jobs.

The Global Cities Initiative report, released in June, ranks the 100 largest U.S. metro areas by “FDI intensity”—in other words, the share of an area’s private employment by foreign employers.

So why does FDI intensity matter? Jobs. According to the report, foreign-owned companies in the U.S. employ 5.6 million workers across the country. And in today’s rapidly globalizing economy, international companies are providing even more long-term economic development benefits to states and regions across the country.

Just take Charleston’s automotive cluster for example. While it may have started with German-based Robert Bosch in 1974, Charleston has since welcomed German automotive companies like Weber Automotive, IFA Rotorion, Daimler Vans Manufacturing and more. Today, Brookings cites motor vehicle manufacturing as a major factor in Charleston’s FDI success.

With 17,200 jobs supplied by foreign-owned establishments, Charleston has experienced a sizable increase in foreign direct investment and employment in the last 20 years.

Competitive advantages including the deepwater Port of Charleston, Charleston’s strategic location on the East Coast, and a skilled workforce have attracted long-term investment by local international employers including German-based Robert Bosch andShowa Denko Carbon of Japan.

And while the report only analyzes data from 1991 to 2011, the Charleston region continues to attract global business and boost its reputation as an international business destination. Since 2012, Charleston has welcomed expansions and relocations from Canadian-based biopharmaceutical co, Aeterna Zentaris;high voltage cable manufacturer, Nexans(France); and aero bearing manufacturer, SKF (Sweden).

As Brookings’ analysts note, FDI intensity in metros is so important for the U.S. economy because metros are “the engines of the national economy.”

Charleston is proud to be one of the country’s top engines.

To view a full list of our region’s largest international employers, click here.

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