October 5, 2011

Charleston?s Knowledge Economy Adding Jobs at an Unprecedented Rate

Charleston Digital Corridor Release

Thirty-Eight Percent of Reporting Companies More Than Doubled in Size

CHARLESTON, S.C. – October 5, 2011 – In its Annual Wage and Job Growth Survey, the Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to report that the companies comprising Charleston's knowledge economy are demonstrating the highest level of employee growth since the annual survey began in 2003. Of the reporting companies, 84% have made hires this year and 76% of them plan to make additional hires before year's end, totaling 88% who have made hires or plan to make hires during 2011. Most strikingly, 38% of the companies surveyed have at least doubled in size.

The average annual wage for companies participating in the 2011 survey is $68,945, representing 173% of the average wage in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of $39,960 and 182% of the State average of $37,920, according to the latest figures available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The discrepancy in wages between knowledge-based companies and their traditional counterparts is consistent with national figures. However, an emerging trend shows an increasing gap between the average wage for all occupations in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville MSA and the State, reflecting the higher year-over-year rate of increase in salaries in the region. "This divergence is reflective of the rapidly growing professional and technical workforce in the Charleston region," said Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

"The growth of Charleston's knowledge economy in 2011 is nothing short of phenomenal," said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, Jr. "The decision by a growing number of high-wage, software companies to locate in downtown Charleston has been very positive for our office occupancy rates and retailers," he added.

The Charleston Digital Corridor continues to support the continued development of high-wage job creation through a process of "strategic doing" that is the hallmark of the organization.

About the Charleston Digital Corridor
The Digital Corridor is a creative initiative to attract, nurture and promote Charleston's knowledge economy through a combination of technology enabled initiatives and business incentives, private business support and member-driven programming. To learn more, visit www.charlestondigitalcorridor.com.

Ernest Andrade