Two South Carolina counties - Greenville and Newberry - were mentioned in recently published research on America's changing manufacturing landscape.
The research was done by the University of Washington's Richard Morrill, who evaluated manufacturing employment in every county in the United States for 1967 and 2014. Morill's research showed that nationwide, manufacturing provided employment for 19.3 million people in 1967 (25 percent of the total U.S. labor force) and 11.9 million in 2014 (8.3 percent).
"America still makes a lot of stuff, much in quite different places, so that there is no longer a distinctive industrial belt, but in a more dispersed pattern,” Morrill said.
Merrill cited Greenville County as one of 53 counties with more than 40,000 manufacturing workers in 1967 (41,000); that number had dropped to 26,782 in 2014. Although the 34.7 percent decline in manufacturing jobs in Greenville County was significant, it was not as severe as the national average drop of 38.2 percent.
Merrill noted that Newberry County had more than 40 percent of its labor force involved in manufacturing in 2014. Its 4,831 manufacturing workers marked a 30.6 percent increase from 1967.