CoStar Market Insights: E-Cigarette Maker’s New Facility Comes After Years of Minimal Employment Growth

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. is planning to open a $125 million assembly plant in the Columbia, South Carolina, metropolitan area, a welcoming sign for the state capital’s job market.

Juul’s new Lexington County plant, which will be used to assemble and package its products using “advanced” production techniques, is set to create more than 500 new jobs, according to a prepared statement.

The San Francisco-based company’s move to open a plant in Lexington County comes after years of minimal employment growth and a slow recovery from job losses in 2017 in the Columbia metro area. In fact, job growth has come in below the national average nearly every quarter since early 2017.

Job Growth has been slow in Columbia since 2017. Image: CoStar

Meanwhile, surrounding metro areas such as Charleston and Spartanburg have seen strong employment growth, largely boosted by manufacturing jobs from companies including Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

The e-cigarette maker did not disclose the location of it’s new Lexington County plant. But it has been looking at a site near Columbia Metropolitan Airport, State Sen. Katrina Shealy said in an article by The Record.

Wherever Juul ends up in the Columbia metro area, the move is likely to spark future development aimed at the firm’s suppliers.