South Carolina brought in 157 economic development projects in 2017, accounting for $5.24 billion in capital investment and 18,445 jobs.
Numbers (.pdf) released Tuesday by the S.C. Department of Commerce showed a $1.8 billion increase in investment from 2016. The 2017 total, the fourth time investment has topped $5 billion in the past seven years, represented the second-highest total in that span. In 2013, the state brought in $5.4 billion.
Among specified industries, automotive led the way, adding more than 4,000 jobs. Volvo set the pace with a reported $620 million invested in Berkeley County, creating a state-best 1,910 jobs, followed by BMW’s $600 million in Spartanburg County.
Samsung’s $380 million manufacturing plant in Newberry County ranked third, while Cypress Creek Renewables’ $115 million, 75-megawatt solar facility in Orangeburg County ranked eighth. Dominion Energy’s $100 million solar farm in Jasper County tied for ninth.
The Midlands’ biggest job creator was direct sales clothing retailer LuLaRoe, accounting for 1,000 new positions, good for a three-way tie for second in the state. Samsung ranked fifth with 950. Trane created 700 jobs in Richland County, tied for seventh-highest.
Domestic dollars accounted for 49% of the total, with Germany leading foreign investors at 18%. New projects made up 40% of the total, with 60% expansion.
“South Carolina has become an industrial powerhouse,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a news release. “To recruit more than $5 billion in capital investment — a feat which had never occurred prior to 2011 — takes a remarkable amount of collaboration and teamwork from many partners across the state.”