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Where South Carolina ranks in Site Selection Group’s best manufacturing states

Jason Thomas //August 31, 2023//

Where South Carolina ranks in Site Selection Group’s best manufacturing states

Jason Thomas //August 31, 2023//

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Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory, economic incentives and real estate services firm, has released its list of best states for manufacturing in 2023.

For the second year in a row, South Carolina tops the list.

The firm’s selection process requires the application of innovative analyses and filters until the most competitive locations are identified, according to its website.

Each year, Site Selection Group uses a weighted model called GeoCision to score and rank states based on their competitiveness for corporate investment (Best States for Manufacturing), according to its website.

Related content: Why South Carolina represents the future of manufacturing

It scores and ranks every metropolitan and micropolitan area in the lower 48 states based on key variables of interest for a manufacturing project, according to the website. Then, it averages the scores of every MSA within each state to produce an overall state score.

Site Selection Group scored states based on the following categories and weightings:

Workforce & Market Alignment: 50%

Variables include:

  • Labor scalability (population, workforce, growth, unemployment)
  • Target demographics (age, income, education, socio-economic status aligned with manufacturing)
  • Target occupational presence (presence of target occupational clusters, focusing on production, logistics, maintenance and engineering requirements)
  • target occupational demand (competition and hiring pressure)
  • Organized labor climate

Operating Costs: 25%

Variables include:

  • Wage/salary levels for target occupational requirements
  • Broader coast of living and income metrics
  • Tax climate
  • Utility costs
  • Real estate costs

Geographic Positioning: 25%

Variables include:

  • General population/consumer access (This factor can be very client specific.)
  • Modal access (air, port, rail, intermodal)

South Carolina’s total index comes in at 113.8%, outpacing No. 2 North Carolina (109.9%) and No. 3 Tennessee (108.5%).

Site selector credit’s the top three’s repeat performance to “ in large part to favorable demographics and migration patterns, a strong manufacturing presence, low cost of doing business, access to consumer bases and/or proximity to major ports,” the website states.

You can read the full rankings here.