BMW has just a single manufacturing plant in the U.S. — in Greer, South Carolina, which straddles Spartanburg and Greenville counties. This week the German automaker announced plans to hire 1,600 more workers in South Carolina to help produce a line of SUVs.
BMW’s plant has turned into a showplace for South Carolina economic development and state politicians eager to attract business, especially manufacturers, to a region known mostly for agriculture and textiles. A year ago Boeing announced that it will be assembling its 787 Dreamliner in Charleston, employing 3,800 workers. State officials say BMW helped woo Boeing by giving South Carolina rave reviews for providing infrastructure support such as roads and helping to train and hire skilled, motivated workers.
“When anyone asks me if South Carolina is a good place to locate, I tell them to ask BMW,” said Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina who spoke at a celebration at the plant Wednesday for the X3 assembly line. “They’re part of the reason Boeing came.”
So what is the impact of 1,600 new jobs to the region? Here’s an assessment from EMSI’s Economic Impact tool using the automobile manufacturing (NAICS 336111) as the base industry and two counties — Spartanburg and Greenville — as the selected region.
According to EMSI’s input-output model, those 1,600 jobs will lead 2,977 other jobs in a variety of industries, led by local government, all other motor vehicle parts manufacturing, and full-service restaurants.
Here are the most-impacted industries by percentage growth. Notice the detailed industries that serve as suppliers to BMW.
Lastly, here’s an economic base report for the region, also from EMSI’s Economic Impact tool. Economic base analysis uses a mathematical model to determine which groups of industries, or sectors, are most fundamental to a region’s economy. The nature of these industries is determined by whether they bring money into a region or simply circulate existing dollars that are already present in the region.
Manufacturing — thanks to the likes of BMW — bring in the highest share of earnings (26%) to the two-county region. However, services makes up the largest percentage of jobs.