SC Researcher: Room occupancy, jobs correlate

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A researcher at Coastal Carolina University says for every three additional rooms rented on the Grand Strand, one more person could have a job.

Taylor Damonte has studied employment records for Horry County and says there's not a precise correlation because many factors determine employment. But Damonte said generally, increased room occupancy increases employment.

Using state employment numbers, he found employment in Horry County last year was highest in July when room occupancy was more than 85 percent. There were 19,000 fewer jobs in January of that year when occupancy was only about 21 percent.

Damonte said finding ways to increase occupancy in the fall and winter could lead to more people working year-round and not just in tourism.

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