Number 1 Best State for Manufacturing

South Carolina Cruises to the Top Spot

Site Selection Group, a full service location advisory, economic incentives and real estate services firm, recently conducted its annual assessment of the lower 48 states to determine rankings based on competitiveness for corporate investment. This year’s evaluation was even more rigorous than in previous years because the firm scored and ranked every metropolitan and micropolitan area in the continental US. As the ability to hire and retain a qualified workforce is the #1 factor that drives final site selection decisions, readySC, Apprenticeship Carolina and the state’s 16 technical colleges were instrumental in solidifying South Carolina’s top position.

2022 Best States for Manufacturing

Rank State Overall Index Score
1 South Carolina


2 North Carolina


3 Tennessee


4 Virginia 114.5%
5 Georgia


Factors that Drive Final Site Selection Decisions

  • Ability to hire and retain a qualified workforce
  • Ability to receive and ship goods in a cost-effective and timely manner
  • Business environment and regulatory climate, including a strong manufacturing presence and low cost of doing business
  • Infrastructure, including access to consumer bases and proximity to major ports
  • Real estate
  • Economic incentives

Assessment Categories and Weightings

Category Weighting
Labor Availability 40%
Transportation & Logistics 20%
Labor Cost 15%
Operating Costs & Conditions 15%

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