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Lexington County leaders expect more growth in businesses, jobs, people, homes, and income in the co

Lexington, SC – More business and residential growth is headed to Lexington County according to the county's department that’s in charge of keeping our economy growing and tracking its health. The County of Lexington Department of Economic Development’s staff is tracking 14 active projects with a combined potential capital investment of $550 million. These investments could potentially create 1,770 new jobs here. If all 14 were to commit to Lexington County, that would mean an investment of more than half a billion dollars! The potential for jobs is not just when the projects are finished, there’s also the high paying jobs in engineering, planning, and the construction industry that could keep hundreds busy as plants, businesses, and industries come or expand here.

Of these 14 potential projects, announcements are pending on two. Those are valued at $54.5 million and have the probability to create 40-45 new jobs when completed. This means that as more business and industry are looking at Lexington County as a place to call home, two have already taken the steps needed to move or expand here.

There are seven projects at the decision pending stage with Lexington County as one of several finalist locations. Remember, we aren’t competing against just Columbia, Richland County, or other SC cities for these projects and potential jobs, we are competing with some of the most respected cities and counties that are home to the most elite businesses nationwide. Pending projects represent a potential capital investment of $355 million and 1,180 jobs. Staff reports, however, that the pace of new projects initiated has slowed considerably in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the past 2 or 3 years.

In December, a report released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Lexington County’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew by 17% from 2012 to 2015. GDP is a primary indicator of an area’s economic health. This is the most recent available data. The total Lexington County GDP in 2015 was $9.3 billion, the 7th highest county in South Carolina. The SC State increase was 16.2% or .8% less than Lexington County’s.

In January of 2019, the Lexington County Economic Development staff obtained the latest ERSI county report. ERSI is an international supplier of geographic and economic information and projections. According to their report, Lexington County is expected to experience continued growth in the future.

In 2018, the population of Lexington County was estimated to be 296,672. By 2023, in just five years, it is expected to be 319,895. The number of households is also expected to grow. The 2018 reports show 115,218 individual households here. That is expected to increase to 123,871 by 2023. That’s a net gain of more than 8,600 new homes.

Reports also indicate that people who call Lexington County home are increasing the paychecks they earn. The median household income rose from $58,558 in 2018 and should reach $66,538 in 2023. The percent of households earning over $150,000 is expected to increase from 9.3% in 2018 to 10.8% in 2023.

As all this growth continues, there will be a lot of excitement, but also a lot of planning and decisions to make. Lexington County Council, and the other governments represented in the county, have shown a willingness in the past to work together to plan for growth in the coming years. Watch for changes to our landscape, roads, towns, cities, and schools as the growth arrives. Only a hardworking management team and thoughtful, forward thinking elected leaders that work together will be able to plan for the continued growth that seems to be headed our way.

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Call Paul Kirby

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