Published Aug. 23, 2012
Employment in South Carolina’s automotive manufacturing cluster is up more than 11.3% from a year ago and nearing pre-recession levels seen in 2007, according to data released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The chart shows annual employment trends in S.C.’s auto manufacturing sector.
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures are for July of each year.
The sector has added 3,200 jobs over the past 12 months and as of July employed 31,600 people, bureau data shows. Figures represent jobs at transportation equipment manufacturers, which include OEMs of all types of vehicles and their core suppliers.
Those figures appear poised for growth in South Carolina, where several auto companies are recruiting. BMW Manufacturing Co. is investing $900 million and hiring up to 1,000 people in Spartanburg County over the next two years. Michelin North America is investing $750 million and hiring 500 people in Anderson and Lexington counties. Bosch Rexroth is investing $80 million and adding 160 jobs to its Fountain Inn plant. And ZF Transmissions is still hiring for its 1,000-worker plant in Laurens County.
Nationally, the auto industry has added nearly 90,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year, according to bureau data. That’s an increase of nearly 13%, a growth curve the bureau expects to remain steady for the next decade.
The South Carolina automobile cluster is ranked 11th in the U.S. in auto employment, according to a study released in May by the Harvard Business School.