1. Estimated employment at Fort Gordon is approximately 26,000, and about 11,000 at SRS. Thus, the federal government is responsible for about 37,000 jobs in the five-county region. By comparison, the healthcare and social assistance sector employs just over 30,000, the retail sector employs 25,000, and the educational services sector employs 25,000. The manufacturing sector employs just under 20,000.
2. The median hourly wage for the region is $18.47, which is higher than the SC average but lower than the GA average. The US median wage is $20.78. For certain occupations related to SRS, the median hourly wage is significantly higher.
3. For SRS overall, wages constituted 51 percent of total expenditures, with fringe benefits accounting for 19 percent. Of the SRS workforce, over 80 percent live within the five-county area.
4. Outside of the federal government, the fastest growing employment sectors in the region over the last five years were lodging, restaurants, and bars; healthcare and social assistance; and retail trade. The sectors that have lost the largest number of jobs over the last five years are educational services and construction.
5. SRS also contributes to the local economy by a mechanism known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), which are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes in FY 2017 were $1,620,000 to Aiken County, $4,765,868 to Barnwell County, and $89,508 to Allendale County for a total of $6.5 million.
6. For Baby Boomers, the most important criteria for choosing where to live in retirement are: 1) affordable cost of living, 2) nearby family and friends, 3) good weather, 4) low crime rate, and 5) access to excellent healthcare and hospitals. That being said, only 4 percent of people 65 and older move, and many more are choosing to remodel their homes so they can age in place.