Held back by the job market. That’s what the latest MetroMonitor shows.
Augusta was once king of the MetroMonitor, a quarterly economic analysis by the Brookings Institution. While the Great Recession was making metro areas like Las Vegas look like scorched earth, Augusta was floating high on the list of cities that were resilient. Then the recovery caught up to the previously ravaged cities, which now have more cylinders firing, and Augusta’s slow and steady pace has put it on the bottom of the economic measure for the biggest 100 cities in the U.S.
For all the years of double-digit passenger growth at Augusta Regional Airport, it seems that this year it has found its pace.
Traffic for the first six months of 2012 is about even with the first six months of 2011.
Show me the numbers: In 2011, there were 273,396 passengers for January through June. In 2012, there were 273,116.
There would have been more had American Eagle not pulled out. It was doing about 4,500 passengers per month.
The Hull College of Business at Augusta State University turned in its economic commentary on the first half of the year.
The unemployment rate is high and so are consumer prices, but there are a few bright spots with more building permits and fewer people joining the unemployment line.
The leading economic indicacators index at ASU increased slightly – 0.6 percent – over the course of the six months.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce thinks the Cytec Industries plant in North Augusta is a swell place.
Cytec is the Small Manufacturer of the Year, announced Wednesday by the state chamber.
Cytec makes chemicals and materials that end up in adhesives, paints, inks, plastics and other industrial coatings.
The Medium Manufactrurer of the Year is one county over, Holcim Inc., located in Orangeburg. They make more cement than anyone in the state.
A couple of local companies are still making ink on the Inc. 5000.
MAU Workforce Solutions, EDTS and ESi are becoming perennials on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies. And two of them are ranking higher this year.
MAU Workforce Solutions, a staffing agency that provides workers for companies such as BMW, placed 2,530, a 681 spot jump from last year. Over three years, the company experienced 96 percent growth and had $208 million in revenue in 2011.
Club Car has unveiled its new entry level utility vehicle, which is a new version of its existing Carryall line.
The Carryall 242 is replacing the Carryall 232. Club Car is marketing the vehicle to college and medical campuses, and some apartment complexes.
The improvements over the old model seem to be style and comfort related. There’s more leg room, its got a pedal start, more colors and more lighting options.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is replacing its outdated emergency management software with a system developed by an Augusta company.
Techs for ESi have already finished installing crisis management technology in FEMA headquarters and look to be busy installing WebEOC in the agency’s satellite offices, too.
More homes are underwater in Augusta.
That’s the negative-equity kind of underwater, meaning the value of the home is less than the mortgage. For this information, we turned to CoreLogic, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange that provides analytics and business services.
CoreLogic said that for Augusta-Richmond County, 11,525 residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity for the first quarter of 2012. That is 15.3 percent, up from 15.0 percent for underwater homes in the fourth quarter of 2011.
On paper, Augusta has lost its economic recovery.
Based on two different sets of labor statistics, the Augusta metro area has fewer jobs now than when the recession ended in mid 2009 – despite a slow recovery that won back more than half of what was lost during the Great Recession by May 2011.
The June metro unemployment report from the Georgia Department of Labor said there were 230,985 people working in the six-county area. Until now, the lowest point was 231,790 employed in June 2009, the month that the Great Recession ended.
One of Augusta’s larger technology consulting firms has gotten larger.
EDTS announced Monday that it acquired of Axios Data LLC of Augusta, which was on Davis Road.
Axios was a 3-year-old IT firm. Axios Data’s principal Paul Pelletier will join EDTS as Network & Security Consultant as part of the transaction. All of the employees are moving over to EDTS too, at its Broad Street office.