South Carolina Employment Statistics

  • 136,808 employers
  • 2,092,971 employees
  • $859 average weekly wage
  • The average weekly wage is 22.0% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.7% below the national average

Types of Employers (Private Sector vs Government Agency)

As an employer in South Carolina, you are most likely to be running a private company rather than a government agency. 97.0% of employers run private companies in the state, 0.0% less than the national average of 97.0. The remaining 3.0% of employers are government agencies: 0.7% work in a federal agency, 0.8% work for the state and 1.5% work for local government. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employers by type.
83.3% of employees work for a private company. This is 1.9% below the national average of 85.2%. Local government agencies employ 10.6% of the workers in the state, state government agencies employ 4.4% of the workers and the federal government employs 1.6%. The percentage of employees working for a government agency (16.7%) is 1.9% higher than the national average. The chart below illustrates the breakout of employees by type of employer.
The average weekly wage in South Carolina is $859 per week, which is 22.0% greater than the national average of $1,101 per week. South Carolina workers that are employed by private businesses earn $846 per week, 23.1% lower than the national average for private company employees. Employees of federal government agencies in South Carolina earn $1,357 per week, a premium of 60.4% compared to what employees of private companies earn. The chart below illustrates the average weekly by type of employer.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 13.6% of the businesses in the state. Retail trade (13.2%) and Construction (9.2%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Businesses
Sector# Businesses% of Bus.
Professional services18,61613.6%
Retail trade18,11113.2%
Construction12,5549.2%
Other services11,9918.8%
Accommodation and food services11,0358.1%
Healthcare10,6597.8%
Wholesale trade8,8786.5%
Waste services8,5776.3%
Finance and insurance7,6355.6%
Manufacturing6,2774.6%
Real estate and rental5,9054.3%
Transport and warehousing3,4982.6%
Information2,7162.0%
Arts and entertainment2,0361.5%
Educational services1,5791.2%
Agriculture and forestry1,1840.9%
Company management9780.7%
Utilities3340.2%
Mining and oil extraction1310.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Retail trade with 12.0% of the employees in the state. Manufacturing (11.9%) and Accommodation and food services (11.1%) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Sectors by # of Employees
Sector# Employees% of Emp'
Retail trade251,57812.0%
Manufacturing249,58611.9%
Accommodation and food services232,00711.1%
Healthcare208,2029.9%
Waste services170,6108.2%
Construction104,2845.0%
Professional services102,0764.9%
Wholesale trade72,0113.4%
Finance and insurance69,7673.3%
Transport and warehousing66,8593.2%
Other services53,6122.6%
Arts and entertainment31,6941.5%
Real estate and rental31,0211.5%
Information28,1971.3%
Educational services26,0021.2%
Company management22,1801.1%
Utilities12,0110.6%
Agriculture and forestry10,9310.5%
Mining and oil extraction1,7240.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $1,725per week compared with the state average of $846. Company management ($1,540) and Professional services ($1,360) round out the top 3 sectors.
Table: Wages by Sector
SectorWkly Wagevs St Avg.
Utilities$1,725203.9%
Company management$1,540182.0%
Professional services$1,360160.8%
Finance and insurance$1,325156.6%
Wholesale trade$1,314155.3%
Mining and oil extraction$1,292152.7%
Information$1,186140.2%
Manufacturing$1,144135.2%
Construction$1,012119.6%
Healthcare$904106.9%
Real estate and rental$874103.3%
Transport and warehousing$83298.3%
Educational services$70983.8%
Agriculture and forestry$69882.5%
Waste services$65877.8%
Other services$63474.9%
Retail trade$53363.0%
Arts and entertainment$37844.7%
Accommodation and food services$34240.4%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In South Carolina. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.4% of the businesses in the state (with 8,805 employing 184,639 workers). Private households (3.2%) and Computer systems design and related services (2.7%) round out the top 3 industries. The Top 10 Industries in the state are:
Industry# BusinessesEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places8,80521.0
Private households4,3590.9
Computer systems design and related services3,6944.4
Management consulting services3,2244.8
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,9174.4
Offices of lawyers2,6505.4
Residential building construction2,5474.3
Offices of physicians2,37216.9
Offices of real estate agents and brokers2,1992.7
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,1904.8


Employees by Industry

The industry with the greatest number of employees in the state is Restaurants and other eating places with 8.8% of the businesses in the state. The industry employs 184,639 in 8,805 businesses, there are 21.0 employees on average in each of these businesses. Temporary help services (3.4%) and General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters (2.0%) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Industries by # of Employees
Industry# EmpEmp/Biz
Restaurants and other eating places184,63921.0
Temporary help services70,57954.3
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters41,89130.5
Supermarkets and other grocery stores40,47448.7
Offices of physicians40,02216.9
General medical and surgical hospitals34,336205.6
Hotels and motels except casino hotels29,93226.2
Management of companies and enterprises22,18022.7
General warehousing and storage20,25680.4
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing18,62582.0


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Footwear manufacturing, paying $6,839 compared with the state average of $846. Health and welfare funds ($5,312) and Petroleum refineries ($5,193) round out the top 3 industries.
Table: Wages by Industry
IndustryWkly Wage% of Avg
Footwear manufacturing$6,839808.4
Health and welfare funds$5,312627.9
Petroleum refineries$5,193613.8
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,865456.9
Other financial vehicles$3,514415.4
Securities brokerage$2,883340.8
Commodity contracts dealing$2,378281.1
Commodity contracts brokerage$2,293271.0
Telephone apparatus manufacturing$2,273268.7
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,252266.2


Company Size

South Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in South Carolina by far. 60.5% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 123,377 small businesses in the state represent 95.2% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.6%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) The pie chart below illustrates the ratio of business sizes.

South Carolina Employees by Business Size

The largest companies in the state represent 115.8% of all employees, which is 22.7% lower than the national average of 138.4%. Smallest companies also employ a lower percentage of the states workforce than the largest companies. The solopreneur (those that employ fewer than 5) companies employ 86.6% of all workers, which is 4.9% lower than the national average of 91.5%. All small companies, those employing fewer than 50 people, represent 586.7% of the labor force in the state, 36.7% more than the national average of 550.0%.

South Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in South Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 7.6% more than the national average ($1,055 per week as compared to the national average of $975 per week). The largest companies in South Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 40.7% workers below the national average ($1,338 per week as compared to the national average of $1,882 per week).



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.