Local economists confirm Horry County seeing significant job growth

Local economists confirm Horry County seeing significant job growth
Morgan Dendy, Director of Marketing, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp.
Morgan Dendy, Director of Marketing, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp.
Rob Salvino, Economics Professor, Coastal Carolina University
Rob Salvino, Economics Professor, Coastal Carolina University

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Local job and economy growth experts said a recent ranking that listed Myrtle Beach as one of the t

is a strong sign that businesses and people are noticing this area has a lot more to offer, and it's not just a place for tourists.

If you ask Coastal Carolina University Economics Professor Rob Salvino, the proof is in the numbers. He said, "We're seeing robust growth relative to previous years; this economy is starting to see growth signs beyond tourism, real estate, and construction."

According to the human resources website, The Talent Tribune, a recent article list North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Conway areas as number seven in the top 10 cities in the nation for job seekers. Morgan Dendy, Director of Marketing for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, agrees.

"Horry County has made job creation a top priority over the last few years and we're making sure we're diversifying our economy and creating jobs, long-term, well-paying jobs here for our residents," she explained.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data showed from August 2013 to August 2014 there was a growth total of 4.4 percent. The data indicates Horry County is leading the state for population and job growth. 

Dendy added, "We've always been known as a tourism destination, well now we're much more than that. We're a place that people are moving their companies to, and we're a place where people want to move here to work and live and raise a family."

Salvino said he doesn't think the job growth is as significant as the website claims, but he does agree there are a few sectors that are helping to produce more jobs, for example, health care.

"Because we are a draw for the 55-plus age group retirees, so healthcare sector is growing more than the nation on average," Salvino said. "Higher education is growing fast here, with CCU and Georgetown Tech."

While tourism will always be a huge sector, Dendy said to keep the jobs coming to the area, the MBREDC is slightly shifting focus.

"We look to diversify our economy in other industries that are not necessarily tourism related so we try to create jobs manufacturing jobs, technology jobs," she points out.

Dendy tells WMBF job growth doesn't just mean bringing new businesses into the area, it also means helping existing businesses. "We also work with existing industries and businesses that are already here to help foster growth within those companies, said Dendy. "So if a company that's already located in Horry County is looking to expand and create more jobs they can come to us (MBREDC) as a resource to help support that growth."

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