SC Council on Competitiveness Releases 2020 SC Aerospace Study

SC Council on Competitiveness Releases 2020 SC Aerospace Study, Showing Increases in Economic Impact and Job Creation 2010-2019

The study reveals the impact of Aerospace in South Carolina, including an increasingly diverse aerospace supply chain, strong salaries and wages, and a growing workforce

(Columbia, SC) The SC Council on Competitiveness has released the 2020 SC Aerospace Economic Impact Study to highlight the sector’s role in South Carolina’s economy, growth in both military and commercial sectors, and its contribution to the state’s workforce.

The study, completed by University of South Carolina research economist Dr. Joseph C. Von Nessen, updates the data from 2018’s study, and highlights potential supply chain growth opportunities. Dr. Von Nessen will present the 2020 SC Aerospace Economic Impact Study in detail at 12pm on October 29th as part of the 2020 SC Manufacturing Conference and Expo (registration is free and open throughout the conference).

The study reveals several encouraging signs for the Aerospace sector in South Carolina, with increasing revenue and employment numbers over the past decade. Where the state average employment growth since 2009 sits at 2.2%, the Aerospace cluster reports 10.7% growth. Furthermore, the state average compensation (including all wages and salary) comes in at $44,986, with Aerospace-related jobs reporting an average compensation of $81,114 — up 3.3% from 2018. The study reveals an overall impact of $28.8 Billion for South Carolina’s state economy, an increase of $4 Billion since 2018. The SC Aerospace cluster remains geographically diverse, with 39.7% of aerospace core firms in the Upstate, 23.8% in the Midlands, and 36.5% in the Lowcountry.

“South Carolina continues to be a top aerospace state, and the impact of aerospace within our state continues to grow,” remarked Susie Shannon, President and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness. “The success of our aerospace sector is a testament to the infrastructure, education and workforce training programs as well as logistics and technology sectors that are all working together to support the manufacture of aircraft.”

The study does not capture the effects that COVID-19 has had on the aerospace industry in 2020, though it does show the growth in sub sectors of the supply chain, giving the SC Aerospace cluster insights on how best to help diversification to enable efficient recovery.

“This study gives us a good baseline to understand where the aerospace industry is and how we got here.” says SC Aerospace Director Stephen Astemborski. “We have a diverse base of both military aviation and commercial manufacturing and services. Now, it’s time for us to come up with the plan to further strengthen those businesses that are here, and attract the parts of the industry that haven’t yet arrived.”

The study can be viewed at

Press Contact: Adrianne Beasley

Director of Strategy & Communications

South Carolina Council on Competitiveness



About The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

The Council is a nonpartisan, business-led non-profit organization committed to advancing the long-term economic competitiveness of our state, industries, and citizens. Our work is accomplished through actionable research on opportunities and threats to South Carolina’s competitiveness; support of industry clusters that provide South Carolina a competitive advantage; and education and workforce development initiatives that ensure all South Carolina’s citizens are equipped to compete in a global economy. We execute our work through partnerships, recognizing that our state’s economic success is secured through sustained collaboration among the private, public, academic, and non-profit sectors. For more information, visit

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