South Carolina Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 139,013 employers, up 5.7% from 131,566
  • 2,137,664 employees, up 1.4% from 2,108,103
  • $867 average weekly wage, up 3.7% from $836
  • The average weekly wage is 20.8% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 4.1% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 7,447, which is an increase of 5.7%. The number of employees in South Carolina increased by 29,560, an increase of 1.4%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $31, an increase of 3.7%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 7,429 or 5.8%. Growth in private businesses in South Carolina grew faster than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 26,880 or 1.5%. The growth in employees of private businesses in South Carolina was faster than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $34 or 4.2%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in South Carolina grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 13.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 8.6%. Retail trade (13.0%), which increased by 1.7% and Construction (9.2%), which increased by 5.9%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Utilities5617.3%
Information31912.7%
Company management11512.6%
Educational services15810.4%
Real estate and rental5289.3%
Professional services1,5148.6%
Waste services6367.8%
Transport and warehousing2417.2%
Mining and oil extraction97.2%
Arts and entertainment1236.2%
Construction7105.9%
Finance and insurance4295.8%
Healthcare5865.7%
Other services6525.7%
Manufacturing2864.7%
Agriculture and forestry494.2%
Wholesale trade3454.1%
Accommodation and food services3783.5%
Retail trade2951.7%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Manufacturing with 12.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 3.7% in the last year. Retail trade (11.7%), decreased by 0.4% and Accommodation and food services (11.4%), increased by 1.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Company management3,91718.4%
Mining and oil extraction1458.4%
Transport and warehousing2,9764.5%
Arts and entertainment1,4274.2%
Manufacturing9,2863.7%
Real estate and rental6131.9%
Healthcare4,0041.9%
Educational services3451.4%
Accommodation and food services2,7341.2%
Waste services1,8681.1%
Wholesale trade7941.1%
Other services4820.9%
Professional services5420.5%
Construction3270.3%
Finance and insurance-151-0.2%
Retail trade-978-0.4%
Information-566-2.0%
Agriculture and forestry-357-3.0%
Utilities-529-4.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $1,661per week compared with the state average of $851. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $52 or 3.2%. Company management ($1,529), rose by $46 or 3.1% and Mining and oil extraction ($1,510) increased by $309 or 25.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Mining and oil extraction$30925.7%
Information$817.0%
Wholesale trade$725.8%
Other services$325.2%
Professional services$655.1%
Accommodation and food services$175.0%
Real estate and rental$404.8%
Arts and entertainment$154.2%
Waste services$253.9%
Manufacturing$433.9%
Construction$383.9%
Retail trade$183.4%
Utilities$523.2%
Company management$463.1%
Healthcare$242.7%
Transport and warehousing$192.3%
Finance and insurance$272.2%
Agriculture and forestry$121.8%
Educational services$-1-0.1%


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 8,929 employing 192,155 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 250 more businesses, an increase of 2.9% in the last year. Private households (3.0% of businesses) added 270 businesses, an increase of 6.9% and Computer systems design and related services (2.8% of businesses) added 508 businesses, an increase of 15.0% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts26123.8%
Open-end investment funds8100.0%
Satellite telecommunications685.7%
Pension funds685.7%
Other gasoline stations5783.8%
Other leather product manufacturing1058.8%
Monetary authorities - central bank1657.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services50815.0%
Management consulting services32210.7%
Private households2706.9%
Restaurants and other eating places2502.9%
Residential building construction1596.5%
Other activities related to real estate14531.4%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers1366.4%


Employees by Industry

Private households (3.0% of employees) added 270 employees, an increase of 6.9% and Computer systems design and related services (2.8% ofemployees) added 508 employees, an increase of 15.0% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Pension funds25277.8%
Health and welfare funds20178.8%
Trusts estates and agency accounts31148.4%
Political organizations49145.5%
Other leather product manufacturing4591.7%
Monetary authorities - central bank2461.4%
Motion picture and video production55558.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Management of companies and enterprises3,91718.4%
Commercial banking2,16614.5%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing2,04020.3%
Employment placement and executive search1,57040.6%
Temporary help services1,4012.0%
Computer systems design and related services1,3258.1%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing1,24432.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Commodity contracts brokerage, paying $10,677 compared with the state average of $851. Employees in the Commodity contracts brokerage industry were paid $9,119 more per week, an increase of 585.3% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,026) and Securities brokerage ($2,603) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($3,026 per week) were paid $178 less per week, a decline of 5.6% and Securities brokerage ($2,603 per week) were paid $46 less per week, a decline of 1.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Commodity contracts brokerage$9,119585.3%
Other insurance funds$1,029190.9%
Open-end investment funds$839105.4%
Coffee and tea manufacturing$41862.3%
Food crops grown under cover$26260.1%
Motion picture and video production$40751.3%
Stone mining and quarrying$55746.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Commodity contracts brokerage$9,119585.3%
Other insurance funds$1,029190.9%
Open-end investment funds$839105.4%
Stone mining and quarrying$55746.0%
Advertising material distribution services$47944.4%
Druggists' goods merchant wholesalers$44927.8%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$43334.3%


Company Size

South Carolina Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in South Carolina by far. 60.6% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 127,831 small businesses in the state represent 95.3% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) South Carolina added 4,671 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,493 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 168 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 10 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



South Carolina Employees by Business Size

South Carolina added 122,883 employees in the last year, an increase of 7.6% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 61,818 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 93.6% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 38,374 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.8% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 22,691 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.4% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

South Carolina Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in South Carolina (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 6.8% more than the national average ($1,078 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in South Carolina (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 41.8% workers below the national average ($1,349 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $106 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $111 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $52 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 2.2% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places8,9292.9%
Private households4,2036.9%
Computer systems design and related services3,89715.0%
Management consulting services3,32410.7%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers2,8723.5%
Offices of lawyers2,6602.3%
Residential building construction2,6006.5%
Offices of physicians2,4284.8%
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,2535.2%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers2,2496.4%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places192,1550.4%
Temporary help services70,6262.0%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters41,439-1.4%
Offices of physicians40,9992.9%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores40,5310.6%
General medical and surgical hospitals32,480-5.9%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels32,4603.4%
Management of companies and enterprises25,26518.4%
General warehousing and storage20,8764.4%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing19,2323.7%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Commodity contracts brokerage$10,677585.3%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,026-5.6%
Securities brokerage$2,603-1.7%
Health and welfare funds$2,415-57.3%
Other financial vehicles$2,263-33.5%
Petroleum refineries$2,23210.9%
Credit bureaus$2,18714.9%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,1492.3%
Investment advice$2,117-8.6%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,0773.4%




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.