Southern states are winning when it comes to luring workers

A new study by the Tax Foundation says more northerners than ever before are taking jobs in the Southeast.

That includes South Carolina.

It also said area newcomers generated almost $11 billion in payrolls in the Palmetto State since 2000.

Will Renke, owner of Sky Fitness in Myrtle Beach, moved to the Grand Strand five years ago from New Jersey. One big reason he left is because his tax burden is a lot less down here.

"Property tax, that was a huge, huge savings. And tax in general as far as insurance is concerned," Renke said.

He has seen so many northerners around the Grand Strand lately, that he said he almost feels like he never left New Jersey.

"It's actually surprising now when people tell me they were born and raised in Myrtle Beach. That's when I'm actually taken back like, 'Are you serious? You actually lived here?' Renke said.

He said the more he saves expense-wise, the more he can give back to the community.

"That saves a tremendous amount of money, which you can put back into the business, which once again, leads back into the community, which is a wonderful part about Myrtle Beach," Renke said.

The study said northerners are trying to escape a high cost of living, expensive housing, and of course, the cold weather.

To show just how many people have left the North over the years, in 1970, the mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania accounted for 18.3 percent of the nation's population. By 2006, that number dropped to 13.5 percent.