Message from Secretary Hitt: Ringing in a new year of economic development

Approaching a new year and decade provide cause to look at milestones we've reached together in South Carolina. Team S.C. continues to work to ensure both new and existing companies find success within our borders. These initiatives, paired with our global recruitment efforts, are making a positive impact.
 
With a team-first approach, using the tools in our kit to recruit higher paying jobs, we have seen some pretty remarkable growth. The state budget estimate for the next fiscal year is $10.1 billion; it has increased almost 98% - nearly doubling in the last nine years. In that same period, the state budget estimate for state income tax revenue has expanded by over 75%. And, in the last five years, South Carolina state income tax collections have grown on average 6.6% each year. This has happened without a tax increase. It's all growth, including new jobs and wage increases for our families.
 
Additionally, one of the pillars of our economy - manufacturing - has seen employment growth of more than 19% in the last eight years. Gross wages to goods producing jobs have increased by $1 billion annually for the last five years. In total, these wages - that also include full benefits - have grown from $16 billion to more than $20 billion. Broadly speaking, there are more South Carolinians working today than previously on record, and they are working with higher wages. 
 
There is one common thread in these milestones: increase. The impact of the collaborative work among Team S.C. is increasing the quality of life for our residents by expanding opportunities - which is the key to our state's sustained prosperity. C.S. Lewis once said, "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." If these words ring true, we will ring in the new year with excitement to see the milestones South Carolina will surpass in the next 10 years.