University of South Carolina Economists predict the state's economy will fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic next year.
According to data released in the 2022 Economic Outlook report from the Darla Moore School of Business, South Carolina is one of only 11 states to have completely recovered its pre-pandemic labor force. The unemployment rate in South Carolina in October sat at 3.9% -- a stark contrast to the early days of the pandemic when unemployment shot up to 11.5%.
Aside from workforce gains, the South Carolina economy has also benefited from a rise in consumer spending and goods produced. USC Economists Joey Von Nessen and Doug Woodward share that unprecedented federal aid bolstered such a strong recovery that a tight labor market now delays further growth.
“This has been great news for South Carolina manufacturers over the past year because this represents growth in demand for the products that they are supplying,” Von Nessen said, pointing specifically to vehicle manufacturing.
Other notable factors that impact South Carolina's return to pre-pandemic economic levels are an increase in jobs and the second-largest in-migration rate in the country, two years running.