SC Leads Country with Lowest Manufacturing Costs

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SC Leads Country with Lowest Manufacturing Costs

By Emily Hodge

The most recent edition of the Southern Business and Development Magazine names South Carolina as the lowest cost state for manufacturing operating costs in the country. The column references a study released by The Boyd Company earlier this summer. In it, the topic of companies looking to re-shore their manufacturing sites in the United States is discussed. Re-shoring is a trend that is seeing an increase under the new presidential administration. The study cites tax cuts, new infrastructure spending, and potential new trade policies as some of the major factors of this increase.

This is all good news for South Carolina, as the study showed operating costs here were the lowest out of the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. The study was based on a hypothetical 225,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing plant employing 500 workers. The total annual cost for this facility in South Carolina came to $30.1 million compared to the highest ranked state, New Jersey, at $40 million. South Carolina’s annual labor costs also ranked lowest when compared to New Jersey. When compared to neighboring North Carolina, South Carolina has both lower property and sales taxes, in addition to a lower cost of labor.

The technical schools and programs that are available in South Carolina were also touted as being major contributors to the state’s attractiveness to companies looking to re-shore. Once more, this buoys the thinking and ideas behind the creation of the Workforce Development Center in the Oconee Industry and Technology Park. South Carolina and Oconee County have a huge opportunity to capitalize on the low manufacturing operating costs in our area, giving greater need for a prepared and skilled labor force. With the wonderful relationships shared between the public school system, Clemson University, and Tri-County Technical College, Oconee County is poised to be ready when opportunities come calling. It is no wonder we call Oconee the “geography of opportunity.”

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Emily Hodge is an Economic Development Specialist for the Oconee Economic Alliance, which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit

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