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      Study says Sonoco has major economic impact on state

      The University of South Carolina's Division of Research at the Darla Moore School of Business released its economic impact study on Sonoco of Hartsville Tuesday morning.

      Sonoco commissioned the school to do the study.

      The study is titled "The Heartbeat of Hartsville: The Economic Impact of South Carolina." It found the global packaging giant annually contributes more than $1 billion to South Carolina's economy, creating nearly 9300 jobs directly and indirectly and generating more than $473 million in income for residents.

      The study also found Sonoco helped significantly with the rebirth of manufacturing in the state since 2009.

      "Sonoco's impact is wide-ranging and extends to every county in South Carolina," said Moore School economist Joseph Von Nessen.

      The Upstate ($403 million), Pee Dee ($402 million) and Midlands ($195 million) are the areas that benefit most from the company's economic activities.

      The company is considered to be a major economic driver of Hartsville .

      "Sonoco, in many respects, is the heartbeat of Hartsville. Their impact is especially strong in the Florence-Darlington metropolitan area where they comprise about 5 percent of total economic activity. This means that any change in Sonoco's business activities will have a sizeable influence on the economic health of this region of South Carolina," Von Nessen explained.

      The company was founded in 1899 in Hartsville and is still headquartered there. It has more than 340 operations in 34 countries in more than 85 nations.

      Sonoco is able to pay its workers about 7 percent more than the state's manufacturing industry average, according to the study. It says the average wage associated with all jobs created to Sonoco's activities in the Pee Dee Region is $1,229 per week or nearly $64,000 a year. The study says these higher earnings are a direct result of the company being headquartered in Hartsville.

      Company leaders they'll use the study to further strengthen the Hartsville and Pee Dee communities.