Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development
Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties Experience Continued Growth
Conway, SC--Robert F. Salvino, Ph.D., Professor of Economics/Research Economist at Coastal Carolina University and Associate Director of CCU’s Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development, has released findings from his quarterly report to the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments’ Regional Outlook Board.
Per the report, the Waccamaw Region’s economy, comprised of Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg Counties showed continued growth in the recent quarters. Overall projections for the year-to-year trends are expected to continue. Future trends are limited to two advanced quarters and will be reassessed on a quarterly basis.
Employment growth in the spring quarter, year-over-year, was led by Horry County with a 3.5 percent increase to 137,064 jobs, while Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties added 0.8 percent (reaching 24,406 jobs), and 1.8 percent (reaching 11,852 jobs) respectively.
Unemployment rates declined for each county, to 4.3 percent in Horry, 4.9 percent in Georgetown, and 5.6 percent in Williamsburg. Slower growth in employment and a more modest decline in the unemployment rate are projected for each of the three counties, as the labor market approaches full employment or the natural rate of unemployment. This is in line with national and state indicators.
Tourism indicators reflect growth in accommodations, on volume and revenue, and spending on retail. A closely watched indicator of the tourism economy, the 1.5% Horry County Hospitality Fee, increased 7.2 percent in the spring quarter, year-over-year.
Resident construction also continues its growth trajectory, recording over 1,265 single-family permits in the spring quarter, up 10.9 percent year-over-year. The pace is above the long-term construction volume but well below the unsustainable boom peak period of 2005-2006.
Located in coastal South Carolina, Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments, WRCOG, is a quasi-governmental agency that serves Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg Counties. WRCOG fosters regional programs and inter-governmental cooperation to support the three-county region it serves.
The Council serves as a link between county governments, municipalities and residents. Its expansive range of services helps local governments make and implement joint regional decisions, and identify and solve problems best addressed at the regional level.
The Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development serves students and professionals engaged in all facets of real estate and economic development and provides market analysis, study-based scholarships, networking opportunities, internships and technical study tours of international sites.
The Grant Center leverages the global ties to Coastal Carolina University and key partners, including students, alumni, faculty, staff and board members. It offers courses in commercial and investment real estate, publishes scholarly research and produces applied studies for stakeholders in the region. The Center also hosts the annual Economic Growth & Real Estate Summit, provides seminar talks on a regular basis and consults for various private, government and nonprofit groups.
The Center’s key mission is to support the education of its students to the highest levels of competence and professionalism and to broaden the economic base of the region, serving as a bridge between Coastal Carolina University and the wider community.
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