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From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Passenger totals steady at Augusta Regional

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.

 

So, the airport is on pace for more than half a million passengers, which would be the second year for passing that milestone. (It ended 2011 with 541,843 passengers.)

 

The big deal is that just six years ago, the airport was doing only half the business it is doing now. There were 273,600 people flying in and out of Augusta in 2006.

 

MANPOWER: Manpower stopped rating Augusta’s metro employment outlook a few years ago, but it still does a quarterly survey of the whole state.

 

Manpower, a worldwide staffing agency, talks to about 18,000 employers every three months to gauge the interest in hiring.

 

For October, November and December, 12 percent of businesses will be increasing their staff levels, and 8 percent are going to be cutting people. And 72 percent anticipate making no changes. Manpower said the outlook for Georgia is one of the weakest in the nation.

 

By comparison, check out South Carolina. About 19 percent of the employers there plan to add people to the payroll, and 7 percent are going to be issuing pink slips.

 

The national outlook is 17 percent adding staff and 9 percent reducing staff.

 

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