News recently shared with Chamber members:

Labor Churn Leveling – Data released this week from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the rate of “job churn” is leveling. Job openings were up slightly in December to 11 million, still well above pre-pandemic numbers. But total hires (6.2 million) and total separations (5.9 million) were effectively flat month-over-month and down from December 2021. Voluntary departures (quits) are still the majority of total job separations, but they are trending downward. Layoffs and other terminations are up by a little. Perhaps one reason why fewer workers are leaving their jobs – earnings growth is slowing. Real average hourly earnings decreased 1.7% year-over-year during 2022.

Second Commerce Park Building – In the same week that business and government leaders gathered for the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation’s Converge Summit, South Carolina-based developer Magnus announced construction of a second 72,000 sq ft industrial flex spec building in Beaufort Commerce Park. Their first venture in Beaufort Commerce Park, a 64,000 sq ft building completed last summer, was fully leased before construction wrapped. This second announcement is another step for economic diversification in our region.

Parris Island Protection Act – Congresswoman Nancy Mace along with fellow South Carolina Representatives Joe Wilson, Ralph Norman, William Timmons, Jeff Duncan, and Russell Fry introduced the Parris Island Protection Act, which prohibits the use of federal funds to plan the closure or realignment of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Senators Graham and Scott have filed a companion bill in the Senate. MCRD Parris Island plays a vital role in national defense and is a pathfinder within the Department of Defense for environmental sustainability and resiliency. The installation won the Secretary of the Navy’s Environmental Award in 2021 for “early and deliberate planning” to mitigate impacts from storm surge and sea level rise. This bill adds an exclamation point to the fact that Parris Island isn’t going anywhere.