We have been talking about the evolution of jobs in industries like construction, manufacturing, and logistics. Now, I had an up-close opportunity to see how it is unfolding right here in South Carolina—and how it is ultimately impacting how we produce things like EVs (electric vehicles).
I recently had the chance to listen to a presentation from the SC Council on Competitiveness—also known as SC Competes—about the SC Logistics 2023 Economic Impact Study.
The current economic impact of SC Logistics totals $48.3 billion, including 150,160 jobs and $8.9 billion in total compensation. This represents an increase of nearly 30% since 2020, including a 7.5% increase in total employment.
In the presentation, the new director of SC Logistics, Amy Sartain, broke the numbers down a little bit, saying the state of South Carolina has more than 600 logistics firms and the state wants to make sure firms are aware of each other so they can work together. One of the overall objectives is to bring awareness to schools and the career path in logistics as well.
“All in all, over 150,000 people in South Carolina are employed by logistics jobs and we are seeing that growing year-over-year,” she says.
Embedded positions—which are salaried or management positions—are growing at a very fast rate, more than 60%. Sartain believes this may be due to companies that are relocating their headquarters or with the growth in the state some companies are already having, they are needing more supervision and managers to handle the scale of the operations.
I have talked about some examples of this right here on this blog. For example, EVs (electric vehicles) are a big component in the state of South Carolina. I recently had the opportunity to tour a manufacturing facility right here in South Carolina where they are building the future postal truck. And this isn’t the right time I had the opportunity to learn about the rise of electrification in South Carolina.
When we look at logistics jobs in South Carolina, there is an opportunity to make a good income. Sartain says, “The average in South Carolina as a whole is $51,000, but the embedded positions are much higher than that in the $87,000-plus range on average.”
South Carolina also has an opportunity to become the logistics hub in the Southeast. Currently, it is the second fastest growing—only second to Florida—but South Carolina has a better opportunity due to the way the state is configured.
Sartain described it like this. Imagine the state being a plate and it is balanced on a stick, with the population on the plate. It would be where the stick would be in the middle of the state to balance that. Here in South Carolina, we have Columbia in the middle. In the case of Florida, much of the population is located in the south part of the state. The distribution of the population is very different.
All in all, at the end of the day, we see there is a great opportunity for logistics here in South Carolina. In fact, Sartain says, “It is a very prosperous, growing part of the South Carolina economy.”
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