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Myrtle Beach MSA Job growth out pacing state and national rates

Wages still below state and national rates, but wage growth in line.

The following is a recent analysis of wage and labor statistics in the three-county Myrtle Beach MSA, which encompasses Horry, Georgetown, and Brunswick County. The counties account for 70%, 13%, and 17% of employment in the MSA, respectively. The information was gathered using the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The Myrtle Beach MSA has experienced a notable year-over-year employment growth of 3.0%, surpassing both the South Carolina and the national growth rate, 2.7% and 2.2%, respectively. Employment growth has been driven by four super-sectors which saw at least a 6.0% year-over-year employment increase: Construction, Professional and Business Services, Goods Producing, and Manufacturing. These super-sectors employed approximately 3,000 additional employees than the previous year.

Wage growth in the Myrtle Beach MSA saw a 2.3% year-over-year increase. Although this growth surpassed the national rate of 2.15%, the MSA lagged behind the state which experienced a 2.5% wage increase. The MSA wage increase is largely driven by Construction, Information, and Services super- sectors. These super-sectors account for roughly 4.3% of all individuals employed in the MSA. The construction industry saw notable year-over-year growth in both employment and wages, 8.0% and 5.0%, respectively. Despite the progressive trends in some super-sectors, the wage growth is stifled by year- over-year wage decrease in Manufacturing, State and Local Government, and Leisure and Hospitality, which encompass an impressive 69% of employment in the MSA.

The median wage for the MSA is $29,361 and is largely driven by the high paying Federal and State Government, Manufacturing, Information, and Education and Health Services super-sectors. Manufacturing has seen substantial employment growth of 6.0%, which cushioned the 1.4% decrease in wages in this super-sector. This decrease was fueled by the 5.7% decrease in manufacturing wages in Horry County.

The median wage continued to be anchored down by the Leisure and Hospitality, Trade Transportation and Utilities, and Service super-sectors. Of these lower-wage super-sectors, the main deterrent to wage growth is Leisure and Hospitality. This super-sector employs 15% of the MSA and yields average wages that are 57% lower than the overall median wage for the MSA. The Leisure and Hospitality super-sector, comprising a high percentage of those employed and plagued by low wages, is responsible for placing a downward pressure on the MSA median wage.

In conclusion, the Myrtle Beach MSA has seen commendable employment growth over the last year, the majority of which is driven by the Construction super-sector in Horry County. Aside from government employment, wage growth is dependent on growth in Construction, Education and Health Services, Manufacturing, and Information super-sectors. Despite the MSA surpassing the state and national employment growth rates, the majority of the employment growth is not occurring in the high-paying industries. The slow wage and employment increases coupled with the moderate decreases in the high paying super-sectors will likely cause the MSA median wage to remain low. 

Article & Date Provided By: Site Tech Systems

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