#YeahTHATAgenda: Where Are the Young People?, Wyche Pavilion's New Look, BMW-Mercedes's Joint Venture, Donelson Eye Acquired, Marion Crawford, Dwarf Tossing
Jan 24, 2019 09:04AM
By Chris Haire
Like many areas of the country, the Greenville-Spartanburg metro is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. It's an issue that's impacting all industries, from the restaurant biz to education to healthcare to construction to the tech industry ... you name it.
While low employment is certainly a formidable factor here--after all, anyone who wants a job most likely has one--there seems to be another player involved: a lack of college grads.
According to a 2019 market outlook from commercial real estate firm CBRE, "the small number of local graduates of higher education" will be a stumbling block for continued growth, at least at the scale that the Upstate has most recently witnessed. Combined with the low unemployment, that could "downshift" Greenville-Spartanburg's "economic expansion."
None of this is a slight to the area's fine colleges and universities. But it's merely an indication of an area where the Upstate falls behind compared to other nearby cities.
According to Census Reporter, the percentage of Greenville residents with a bachelors is 21 percent, while those with a masters are at 14 percent. As for Spartanburg, the numbers are 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
In Charleston, 34 percent have bachelors, 19 percent have masters; in Columbia the numbers are 24 percent and 20 percent.
Meanwhile, GSP also lags behind the large nearby metros, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Raleigh. For Charlotte, the breakdown is 30 percent for bachelors, 16 for master; for Atlanta, it's 28 percent and 21 percent; for Raleigh, it's 33 percent to 18 percent.
Of course, many jobs don't require either a four-year or a post-grad degree, in particular the well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector that drive the Upstate economy.
Still, there's a problem: Greenville-Spartanburg lacks the very group entering the workforce for the first time, young people.
The percentage of people ages 20-29 are: Greenville, 14 percent; Spartanburg, 18 percent; Charleston, 19 percent; Columbia, 24 percent; Charlotte, 17 percent; Atlanta, 21 percent; and Raleigh, 19 percent.
One possible solution to all of this, according a CBRE: a "significant in-migration of talent."
Thankfully, the firm notes, the Greenville-Spartanburg "market has a long track record of welcoming new talent."
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