NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Aerospace is now one of the fastest growing industries in South Carolina, pouring more that $17 billion dollars into the state's economy.
A new report released by an economist at the University of South Carolina says Boeing is boosting this business in our state.
The study also finds the industry employs over 102,000 South Carolina residents.
Since Boeing settled in the Charleston area to build the 787 Dreamliner in 2010, the industry's employment growth rate in South Carolina has been 11.4 percent.
Economists say the "Boeing boost" has caused other major global suppliers to be recruited to the state, to serve the aerospace "cluster."
That "cluster" includes aerospace, aviation, military and even engineering businesses all working in the same areas.
In South Carolina, most of those areas are in the Tri-County. In fact, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties have the highest concentration of people employed in the aerospace field.
According to the study, the aerospace industry impacts South Carolina in three main ways.
First, it creates high paying jobs, with the need for specialized job skills in science and engineering. The average aerospace employee makes over $70,000 a year, compared to around $41,000 a year for the average South Carolina resident.
Second, the study find aerospace has a ripple effect and creates even more jobs in industries that support aerospace companies, like Boeing.
Third, it provides a hefty amount of tax revenue, $532 million a year.
With this sizable economic footprint and solid foundation of suppliers now located here- economists expect aerospace to continue to grow in south carolina.
The study says the aerospace boom is adding the same number of jobs that the automotive industry did in the 90s, after BMW opened its manufacturing plant here.