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Posted on: September 30, 2017

GoUpstate: County Manufacturing Jobs Hit Pre-Recession Levels

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by Elise Franco, Staff Writer


Manufacturing jobs in Spartanburg County have reached a 10-year high.


Will Rothschild, vice president of strategic communications for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said data released in June by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the county is up to 30,000 manufacturing jobs - the most accounted for since 2007.


“That was the first time we were at that level since basically, pre-recession,” he said.


Rothschild said the county is still a long way from where it used to be. In the early 90s, upwards of 45,000 people held manufacturing jobs. During the recession, the number dropped from 30,000 to about 23,000 by 2010, he said.


“Decline of the textile industry had a lot to do with that number decreasing over the years, then there was a precipitous drop during the recession,” he said. “All the manufacturing jobs Spartanburg lost in the recession, we’ve finally gained them all back.


“It took a while to get there, but that’s really indicative of the fact that we continue to rebound and grow jobs in the manufacturing sector. And there’s more on the way.”


Carter Smith, executive vice president of the Spartanburg Economic Futures Group, said that growth in manufacturing jobs over the past decade isn’t surprising. He said the county’s history in

manufacturing continues to make it an attractive location.


“Spartanburg has always been a strong manufacturing community from way back, and obviously, prior to the last recession, did have a substantial impact,” he said. “That positions Spartanburg County to compete very well... and sets the stage to compete as companies continue to rebound.”


Rothschild attributes the county’s ability to rebound to several factors.


“Manufacturing is in the DNA in Spartanburg, so you have a lot of people with experience running these facilities, a lot of engineers, a lot of people in the workforce who know how to make things,” he said. “In general, we have a low cost of doing business here, and the kind of leadership from local government that works very hard to make doing business here easy and profitable.”

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