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Victoria Cottle

Is South Carolina Really that Bad? I Think Not!

is south carolina really that bad? I think not!

An online job search site,, has put out an article talking about the worst states for millennials. In this article, the author Kathy Morris puts South Carolina at 7th after they reviewed U.S. Census data for the unemployment rate and homeownership and then they looked at student loan debt data from the U.S. Department of Education.

And so, after analyzing all their data, Zippia came up with South Carolina at an unemployment rate of 7.8, a homeowner rate of 36.74% with 22% below the poverty rate and an average student loan debt of $37,249.89.

So, let’s break some of this down and see what is up. When I took look at the unemployment rate for South Carolina using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Carolina shows an unemployment rate of 2.4 from their November 2019 numbers. When I dug deeper into the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley area the unemployment rate drops to 2.0 during the same time frame. These are both below the national unemployment rate of 3.7% reported by the same entity stated above.

I also took the homeownership rate into consideration by looking at FRED data which is provided by the St. Louis Fed and for 2018 the homeownership rate in South Carolina was 72.0%. I cannot believe that this number would have dropped in half in just one year when I have been reporting (in my newsletters) that sales were on an upswing for all of 2019. If I average all last year for just the Greenville SC area, I get 1215 in monthly home sales.

Now when I look at the poverty rate that Zippia reported at 22 percent, I find by going to that one out of every six residents in South Carolina lives in poverty but still only a rate of 16.6%. Data site shows 2018 at a poverty rate of 15.3%. For Greenville SC, the poverty rate is 15.3% at were every 6.5 residents live in poverty.

Finally, let’s reflect on the average student loan debt. Zippia states it at $37,249. From what I could find that is a close enough number. The disturbing point is that is an increasing amount over the previous year’s number. Millennials have been sold on the “get a college education, get a good job, make lots of money, have a happy life” mantra all their lives. Maybe it should have been “get a college education when you can pay for it without going into huge amounts of debt”. But, the national average for student loan debt is not far off from South Carolina. I must believe that in states with major universities like Clemson University, the student loan debt will be higher than in other states or even towns where there is not a major university.

So, after looking at all this data, I not sure it is fair to say South Carolina is the 7th worst state for millennials. I think it is fair to say the unemployment rate is good, that means there is job creation happening. The rate of homeownership will start increasing with older millennials paying down their student loan debt. The poverty rate is lower, but the student loan debt is high.

But take all these numbers with a grain of salt. You can look at 100 different reports and see 100 different numbers skewed for every which way. Greenville SC does have a growing and strengthening economy, there is job creation and low unemployment rates and there is a major university located there. And home sales did increase over 2019.

So, it is the worst place for millennials, probably not. Is it the best place, maybe not be we are working on it? South Carolina and Greenville SC are aggressive with incentives and are working to cultivate their reputation as a superior business location with an exceptional economic climate.

It is funny that Zippia also put out an article about the fastest-growing jobs in South Carolina. These are:

  • Home Health Aide
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
  • Operations Analyst
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Web Developer
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapist
  • Lineman
  • Industrial Mechanic

There is a detailed list of all the fastest-growing jobs in South Carolina at

Victoria Cottle is a Realtor® in the Greenville South Carolina area and if you, a friend or a family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Please contact Victoria Cottle by email or call (864) 275-3953 for your real estate needs in the Upstate of South Carolina!

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