The retired Landmark Bank board chairman says the insurance industry is no longer one of Columbia’s top three largest employers.
Jeff MacLellan, who’s studied economic trends in Columbia for 30 years, says State Farm has quietly moved 1,000 jobs out of Columbia, over several years.
“They consolidated into Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta. And those were operations jobs primarily that they had here, or management. And they’re pretty much gone. There are a few people here I think that work remotely. But basically that was a 1,000 person employer who is no longer here,” MacLellan says.
He says insurance is still a major employer, noting Shelter has about 1,000 jobs in Columbia.
Mr. MacLellan joined host Fred Parry for the hour Saturday morning on 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Round Table.” MacLellan says financial services has replaced insurance as Columbia’s third-largest employer. He says that’s primarily due to explosive growth at Veterans United Home Loans (VU), which has several thousand employees in Columbia.
“As probably biggest the success story in terms of a company starting here and growing. I mean they have, what, 3,500 employees,” MacLellan says.
“Well it depends on who you ask but some people say nationwide they have as many as 5,000,” Parry responded.
“Right, I think it’s 3,500 here,” MacLellan tells listeners.