HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County is ranked second to last in the nation when it comes to how much the people who live here are earning, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report.
The study looked at the first quarter wages and employment rates in the nation’s 355 largest counties.
Data shows the average weekly wage in Horry County is around $652 before taxes.
To put this in perspective: it's recommended you spend no more than a third of your salary on rent.
BestPlaces.net shows the average one-bedroom apartment in Horry County runs about a $900 a month. The website also shows the average Horry County utility bill is $224.
Which means, the average wage earner would be spending nearly half of their paycheck on rent and utilities.
This is something Congressman Tom Rice said has to change.
“If you look at Richland County, Lexington County, Charleston County, Greenville County, they’re all over $900 a week in average wages. We’re at $650 a week in average wages. They are 50% higher in wages than Horry County is,” Rice said.
Horry County ranks 94 out of 355 for largest employment rate across the nation. With 160,000 people working, Rice said many of those jobs are low-paying tourism-related jobs.
“Here in Horry County, our industrial base is primarily tourism, it’s over 80% tourism and that generates a lot of low wages, low service jobs.”
Rice said we need to change the job force here, without harming jobs that already exist.
“I don’t want my children and grandchildren and the children and the grandchildren of the constituents who live here to have to leave Horry County to have to find better jobs," Rice said.
He believes a major player in added higher-paying jobs is by building the I-73 interstate which he believes would attract more industrial companies to the county.