South Carolina economic looks strong for 2013

Columbia,SC (WACH)--The calendar may say 2013, but the companies, jobs, and money continue to come in to the Palmetto State.

South Carolina saw a 3% economic growth 2012; and the unemployment rate has decreased to 8.3%. A major reason was due to companies like Bridgestone, Continental, Amazon, and Au'some Candy opening plants; and other companies like Boeing and Time Warner expanding their operations.

University of South Carolina Research Economist Joseph Von Nessen said the results are impressive.

"South Carolina did much better in 2012," Von Nessen said. "We saw a sizeable increase in employment growth; almost doubling employment growth over 2011."

Von Nessen said the majority came from manufacturing but other areas like health services, education, and construction also increased. Despite the effects from the fiscal cliff, he said the state is in good shape compared to others.

"South Carolina is actually leading all states in terms of leading indicators in 2013, and is poised very well to blunt some of these impacts," Von Nessen said. "The payroll tax cut has expired. That is the one that is really going to affect South Carolina because that money is coming out of everyone's pocket."

Von Nessen said there is one major hurdle to overcome due to federal spending cuts that could impact the state's large military and government sectors.

"We have a large state government presence, Ft. Jackson, a large military presence," Von Nessen said. "And so all of those agencies are potentially susceptible to Sequestration. If those cuts are not dealt with, the Midlands will see a disproportionate impact."

An impact all South Carolinians hope to avoid.