SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina officials say the U.S. military community in the state has a nearly $16 billion economic impact through its eight major military bases.
The military accounts for more than 138,000 jobs and includes 56,000 retirees.
Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom released the latest study of the military's footprint in the state Tuesday. The study was conducted by the Commerce Department and covers the fiscal year which ended last September.
Eckstrom chairs the state's Military Base Task Force. The figures are being released as Congress and the federal government grapple with the automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin in January.
The report notes that the military's impact is spread across the state, but is concentrated in Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia and Sumter.