Here’s where the money is: Salaries high, jobs ready, and other details in York County.

Just in time for Labor Day, York County Economic Development released its third annual survey analyzing wage and benefit details for the county.

More than 65 companies representing more than 9,500 employees participated. The economic development group puts out the data to help employers find, hire and keep the best employees.

“York County Economic Development continues to be a great resource for our company to obtain information about the local workforce, economic development and labor statistics in our area,” said Anja Ferrer, human resources manager for Coroplast Tape Corp. “This survey is very useful in regards to helping us benchmark our company to other companies in the area.”

The survey remains relatively new. It also focuses heavily on manufacturing and distribution. But it gives a glimpse into the health of certain industries.

“Each year, this survey has been used to support salary and wage adjustments when discussing operational expenses with my division’s leadership,” said Ida Luchey, plant manager at Koppers Performance Chemicals. “We use this data, coupled with the information from other attendees, such as regional and local workforce providers, as a means to formulate a strategy for recruiting candidates to fill our increasing staffing needs as our business grows.”

Here are eight takeaways from the study, plus a bonus:

The average annual wage increase for 2019 is 2.5%. That figure is down from 2.8% in 2018 and 3% in 2017.

The average salary for technical or production jobs in York County jumped 20% in a year. The 2019 figure of $74,360 increased from $61,731 in 2018 and $59,775 in 2017.

Management didn’t fare quite as well. Those salaried positions dropped 2%. They still sit much higher at $97,217 for 2019. That figure is down 5%, though, since 2017.

The entry level wage is up again, and by more. In 2018 the entry wage of $12.67 an hour was up just a nickel — less than 1% — from 2017. In 2019 it rose to $13.43 an hour. That figure is 6% higher than last year.

The average unskilled or semi-skilled hourly wage of $15.46 also is up 6% in a year. That figure rose almost 3% from 2017 to 2018, too.

Skilled or technical wages went the opposite way. The hourly wage of $19.53 is down 2% from a 2018 high of $19.98. Both figures are still higher than the 2017 rate of $18.22 an hour.

Temporary or contract workers saw an increase. The hourly rate for unskilled or semi-skilled temps rose 5% to $12.60 an hour. Skilled or technical temporary work rose to $16.08 an hour, also a 5% increase in a year.

Here’s how much these selected occupations are making per hour in York County:

York County Economic Development

More than 90% of companies offer dental insurance, vacation, health insurance and life insurance. Less than 10% offer flexible work schedules, stock options or childcare. Here’s where other benefits workers can expect:

York County Economic Development

The top three benefits to recruit, hire and keep employees are vacation time, health insurance and a retirement or pension plan. Further down the list, but up 10% or more among surveyed employers this year are paid memberships, flexible spending account, financial planning, long-term care insurance and stock options.

The average number of vacation days is nine. The average maximum amount of vacation days offered is 18.

Contract of temporary worker turnover happens at the same rate as for entire companies, production and warehouse staff. Management and administrative staff turn over at about a 6% lower rate.

Top reasons given, in order, for employee turnover are policy violations, higher wages elsewhere, career advancement or promotion elsewhere, jobs that don’t match the description, negative relationships with management and organizational uncertainty.

Organizational uncertainty is up 60% in a year, with job not matching its title up 50%.

Other industries

Another source of economic data is the U.S. Census Bureau. Combing information there shows which areas of York, Lancaster and Chester counties are bringing in the most money.

The Fort Mill and Tega Cay areas lead the way in average household income, though in small sample sizes other areas like Edgemoor fare well.

For other South Carolina employment data, visit the state Department of Employment and Workforce at dew.sc.gov.

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.
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