Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted January 30, 2013 01:00 pm

Georgia last in annual study with so many people living paycheck to paycheck

Does this sound like you? Given the percentage, most of you reading this will say yes.

Georgia is dead last among the states in the overall financial security of its residents. And 56 percent of residents have almost no savings to cover emergencies or save for the future.

Nearly three in five Georgia residents are living on the edge of financial disaster with almost no savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss, health crisis or other income-depleting emergency, according to a report released Wednesday by the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

This is an annual report from this Washington, D.C.-based think tank that concentrates on household finances and tries to come up with solutions.

Georgia gets that bad rap because there are so many poor and middle class residents that would become instantly destitute with a job loss – because surviving the recession and recovery has sapped the savings account to nothing.

The report says 35 percent those in the middle income bracket of $51,000 to $82,900 have less than three months of savings, which is the standard amount needed as an emergency fund.

With so many people living paycheck to paycheck, they’ve got nothing to squirrel away for retirement either, or the children’s college education.

“Although there are signs of improvement in Georgia’s economy, with unemployment edging downward in recent months, this year’s Assets & Opportunity Scorecard paints a picture of a state – and a nation – that is struggling to achieve economic opportunity for all residents,” said Jennifer Brooks, director of state and local policy for CFED.

Solutions? The group advocates for Georgia to have a state Earned Income Tax Credit, lift asset limits in its cash welfare and Medicaid programs and provide state support for microenterprise programs, just to name a few of the highlights.


TEE IT UP: The TEE Center, which is now officially known as the Augusta Convention Center, is going to have its ribbon cutting, grand opening ceremony on Feb. 28.


DISNEY: Heard some information that a call center in the Augusta area is bidding for work to take calls for Disney. We’ll put our Mickey Mouse ears to the grindstone and see if we can report it happening.