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SC experts say BMW hiring could lower jobless rate

Sep 5, 2010 5:11:00 PM - thestate.com
BMW Manufacturing Co.'s plan to put on an additional 1,000 workers this year could spur other companies to hire and help reduce South Carolina's unemployment rate, economists say.

The Greenville News reported Sunday that economists project each BMW job means as many as three other workers are hired by other businesses.

"This is great news for the Upstate and all of South Carolina," said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Economics Group. "The multiplier is probably variable, but would be close to that for full-time workers. Related businesses will boost hiring as their orders increase and order backlogs begin to increase."

Greenville County's unemployment rate in July was 9.5 percent - a little better than the statewide rate of 10.8 percent. Spartanburg County's jobless rate was a little worse at 11.8 percent.

"As production of the new X3 gets under way and sales of the BMW X5 and X6 continue to do very well around the world, we see the need to expand our production team again to ensure we are well prepared to meet our forecasted demand," said Josef Kerscher, BMW Manufacturing president.