Spartanburg was the No. 1 small U.S. metropolitan area in terms of economic growth for the 2021 calendar year, according to a study by Stessa, a company that provides tools and information to real estate investors.
In addition to topping the list of small metro areas, Spartanburg metro came in 4th place overall, regardless of metro area size.
Stessa ranked the economic growth of both states and various-sized metropolitan areas by analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and Redfin, to create a composite score for each location.
The composite score consisted of four factors:
- Percentage change in total employment from January to May 2021
- Unemployment rate from May 2021
- Average monthly building permits per capita (averaged over January to May 2021)
- Average monthly home sales per capita (averaged over January to May 2021)
The Spartanburg metro area scored a 81.9 to lead the “small metros” category (100,000-349,999 residents) by a substantial margin. The next five highest scores ranged from 74.1 to 71.7.
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“This is another national recognition primarily due to the strength of our public and private partnerships. With 80 diverse projects in the pipeline, we are confident about Spartanburg’s long-term ability to develop economic opportunities for the people of our community,” OneSpartanburg, Inc. President & CEO Allen Smith said in a press release.
The rankings list was by and large populated with metro areas located in southeastern states. 11 out of the top 14 metro areas were located in either Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee. Spartanburg metro, at 81.9, was only one point behind third place Port St. Lucie, FL, at 82.9.
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Spartanburg metro was not alone in representing South Carolina, or even the Upstate, on the lists. The Greenville-Anderson metro area placed 12th in the “midsize metros” category with a composite score of 70.7, and the Charleston-North Charleston metro area placed 8th with a score of 76.9.
The unemployment rate, a major element of the study, has dipped even further nationally in the year since the Stessa study. Compared to 5.8% after May 2021, and the pandemic-induced spike to 13.2% after May 2020, the 3.6% after May 2022 exactly mirrors the pre-pandemic May 2019’s 3.6% rate.
Chalmers Rogland, a Wofford College graduate, covers public safety and breaking news for the Herald-Journal. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @CRogland.