While the U.S. economy is showing signs of a slowdown, it hasn’t affected the financial health of the state or Charleston area, according to Demographics Daily. South Carolina was the only addition to the periodical’s five-star rating on states considered in the best economic shape. Meanwhile, Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg joined the five-star list for the first time. And Columbia logged its third straight month in the top group.
Demographics Daily, published by bizjournals.com, said it looks at population, income and employment trends each month in 224 metro areas and the 50 states and District of Columbia. The top 10 percent earn the highest rating.
In the most recent survey, 22 urban areas and five states received five stars. South Carolina’s strong job market drove the state to the top category. Employment grew 2.4 percent in the past year, ranking ninth overall. The 2.6 percent unemployment rate was also ninth best. In metro areas, Charleston had a 4.4 percent job growth, Columbia was 4.2 percent and Greenville-Spartanburg, 2.6 percent.
The other five-star states were repeaters: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia. Minnesota dropped out of the top grouping. Colorado is the only state to make the top echelon every month since the survey started in May 2000.