Strong & Steady Growth in Charleston’s Economy

Recent news from the Brookings Institution placed Charleston’s manufacturing employment growth among the strongest in the nation between early 2010 and third quarter ’11. While manufacturing employment grew in 60 of the 100 largest U.S. metros, Charleston joined the rarified ranks of metros with growth of 5 to 10 percent. (The national average was 2.5 percent.)

Close on the heels of that news came the Milken Institute’s “Best Performing Cities 2011” report, which tagged our metro area as one of the healthiest economies in the U.S.; at 11th place, Charleston shot up from 19th in 2010 and 30th in 2009.

Milken researchers weighed jobs, wages and business output over a five year period. They credited Charleston’s vibrancy to numerous factors, including the strong aerospace sector, “stable military presence” and increases in high-tech, high-skill employers.

The CRDA’s own stats support both the Brookings and Milken perspectives. The 874 new, direct jobs our team helped facilitate for FY 2010-11 paid wages 15% above the regional average. Also noteworthy: active projects worked were heavily skewed to  the technology (approximately 50%) and manufacturing sectors (25%).

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