Augusta Economy

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Augusta listed in Brookings' 20 weakest-performing metro areas

Black marks include slow job growth, unemployment

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The Brookings Metro­Monitor for the third quarter listed Augusta as one of 20 weakest-performing metro areas in the United States, a reversal of fortune for the area, which was listed among the top for nearly two years throughout the recession and recovery.

This study looked at job growth, unemployment, GDP, house prices and other indicators to measure economic recovery across the country. With Augusta on the bottom of the list were Atlanta and Columbia. Cities on the strongest-performing list include Detroit, New Orleans and Dallas.

Howard Wial, an economist and fellow at the Washington-based think tank, said it’s not immediately apparent what is keeping Augusta from recovering as quickly as other areas: “It’s hard to tell what the problem is.”

Augusta’s house prices have risen to the national average and the gross metropolitan product is at a good level, but job growth and unemployment are lingering at bad levels.

“Your job growth during the recovery has been extremely slow, and unemployment has gone up,” Wial said.

It is unusual for an area’s gross metropolitan product to be doing well while job growth is slack, he said, and the study did not discover what is keeping job numbers down: “Generally, the two go together, but that doesn’t seem to be the story here.”

Augusta was on the MetroMonitor report’s 20 strongest-performing metropolitan areas list for two years before being listed on the second-strongest-performing list in September’s report. Wial said Augusta’s stable economy is a strength while other areas are struggling, but that same quality makes growth slower during recovery times.

“You weren’t hurt as bad during the recession because of so many government and health care jobs,” he said. “Now that we’re in the recovery, those sectors aren’t growing like others.”

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he is working to cultivate a technology sector that depends less on federal funding.

“We’re heavily reliant on the federal government in many ways, and that doesn’t allow for much growth,” he said. “What was a strength during the recession has become a drag during the recovery.”

Copenhaver said he believes that Augusta has all the necessary ingredients to attract high-tech companies and that those companies are the ones that hire and grow.

BROOKINGS METROMONITOR STUDY

A look at the 20 weakest-performing metro areas and the 20 strongest-performing metro areas in the third quarter, according to the Brookings MetroMonitor:

WEAKEST

• Atlanta

Augusta

• Birmingham, Ala.

• Chicago

• Colorado Springs, Colo.

• Columbia

• El Paso, Texas

• Fresno, Calif.

• Greensboro, N.C.

• Harrisburg, Pa.

• Honolulu

• Jackson, Miss.

• Little Rock, Ark.

• Memphis, Tenn.

• Palm Bay, Fla.

• Philadelphia

• Portland, Maine

• Richmond, Va.

• Tucson, Ariz.

• Virginia Beach, Va.

STRONGEST

• Albuquerque, N.M.

• Bakersfield, Calif.

• Boston

• Dallas

• Des Moines, Iowa

• Detroit

• Grand Rapids, Mich.

• Houston

• Lakeland, Fla.

• McAllen, Texas

• New Orleans

• North Port, Fla.

• Ogden, Utah

• Phoenix

• Provo, Utah

• Rochester, N.Y.

• San Jose, Calif.

• Toledo, Ohio

• Worcester, Mass.

• Youngstown, Ohio

Comments (24) Add comment
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kiwiinamerica
942
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kiwiinamerica 12/16/11 - 05:47 pm
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Captain Kryptonite (aka
Unpublished

Captain Kryptonite (aka "countyman") will be along shortly with the Kool Aid.

RoadkiII
6596
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RoadkiII 12/16/11 - 06:44 pm
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What say you countyman?

What say you countyman?

Riverman1
83725
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Riverman1 12/16/11 - 06:56 pm
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I've explained many times the

I've explained many times the way economic cycles work with government dominated economies. We fare well until the government cuts finally start to hit due to decreased tax revenue. When the rest of the country begins to recover, then it's our turn to hurt.

corgimom
32231
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corgimom 12/16/11 - 06:56 pm
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"but job growth and

"but job growth and unemployment are lingering at bad levels."

This is NOT NEWS, several of us have been saying this all along.

countyman
20120
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countyman 12/16/11 - 09:48 pm
0
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There's nothing really for me

There's nothing really for me too say.. Over the last two years Augusta has been ranked one of the top performing metros, and were one of the weakest performings in the last quarter...

I will say the private jobs including Rockwood, Bridgestone, Rural Sourcing, Algae Facility, Electrolux, FPL Foods, etc and the massive government projects Plant Vogtle and the NSA.. By 2012 they'll make up for the thousands of jobs who were creating by the stimulus fund at SRS...

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 12/16/11 - 09:53 pm
0
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Don't forget the new
Unpublished

Don't forget the new convenience store just opened on Hwy 25 just south of Tobacco Road....that's probably 200-300 jobs alone...(sarcasm off)

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 12/16/11 - 10:02 pm
0
0
Haterade is such a powerful

Haterade is such a powerful drink... Do people actually think the comments do something??

They only make you seem like a miserable person... I don't know why somebody wouldn't want metro Augusta to gain as many jobs as possible either..

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 12/16/11 - 10:23 pm
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What people want is a true
Unpublished

What people want is a true and accurate picture of what to expect....not inflated, or sand bagged numbers.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 12/16/11 - 10:41 pm
0
0
I didn't even mention any

I didn't even mention any sort of jobs numbers in my 8:48 pm comment.. I only mentioned the name of the company creating the jobs.. Can you provide these inflated or sand bagged numbers??

Just because you happen to disagree with them, its doesn't mean the numbers are inflated numbers at all..

Pu239
284
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Pu239 12/16/11 - 10:42 pm
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countyman 12/8/11 at 1247
Unpublished

countyman 12/8/11 at 1247 "Algae facility $10 million initial investment and 200 jobs, Electrolux $2.5 million and over 300 jobs, US Battery is expanding their facility(adding 42k sq. ft.) in South Augusta, and FPL food $3 million investment-100 jobs.. Rural Sourcing(100 high paying IT jobs) moved to downtown Augusta last year, but had the grand opening this year.." Any idea on how many current employees at Bard-ABS? How about Rural Sourcing? BTW... you have posted the same erroneous numbers multiple times.....

countyman
20120
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countyman 12/16/11 - 11:23 pm
0
0
Everything in the comment you

Everything in the comment you posted above is true.... I don't feel like going over all of the one's being listed, but here's three of the developments below..

US Battery located on Tobacco rd in South Augusta..
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4270

How about Rural Sourcing?? They're creating 100 jobs by the end of 2012... Alot of mid size cities definitely can't manage to attract high paying jobs downtown, instead of them locating to the suburbs(i.e West Augusta)...
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/business/local-business/2011-10-04/rur...

FPL Foods new facility on Laney Walker
http://www.tradeandindustrydev.com/region/georgia/news/ga-fpl-food-expan...

Riverman1
83725
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Riverman1 12/16/11 - 11:28 pm
0
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Countyman said, "How about

Countyman said, "How about Rural Sourcing?? They're creating 100 jobs by the end of 2012... "

Heck, I'm just glad to see you admit they haven't already created 100 jobs. Maybe you can even admit their projections of 100 jobs by 2012 are just that. They always qualify their statement with an "if business." I think they have 10 employees now.

countyman
20120
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countyman 12/16/11 - 11:50 pm
0
0
I've never once said they've

I've never once said they've creating 100 jobs already... The number of employees at Rural Sourcing is probably a little over 20 by now..

''RSI will create 100 IT jobs for the Augusta area by the end of 2012.''

The word 'will' is pretty much loud and clear..

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 08:00 am
0
0
I guess the real question are

I guess the real question are these jobs with a career path or just jobs with a paycheck. To me that is a big difference!
So are the jobs mentioned earlier, entry level positions where there is no real chance for advancement or are they jobs where an individual with the right educational and experience skill set will be productive and grow with the business?
Without given a accurate breakdown of the jobs as well as the levels leaves people lost as tears in the rain.

seenitB4
86957
Points
seenitB4 12/17/11 - 08:20 am
0
0
One week we are on the top of

One week we are on the top of the list & next week the bottom dweller...what gives......can we say someone is inflating the stats??

A rose is a rose & don't call it a petunia.

seenitB4
86957
Points
seenitB4 12/17/11 - 08:33 am
0
0
Have no fear....In my

Have no fear....In my shopping in the last week I was pleasantly surprised how many folks are LOOKING for USA products---while shopping at Lowes the salesperson told me others had been asking for MORE American made products & I noticed more on the shelf....when I checked out the clerk asked if I found everything I needed & I said NO
that I wanted some Christmas lights BUT everything they had came from China & I would look somewhere else....The sad thing is that everything we saw at other stores came from---you guessed it CHINA..

Now I hear that China will put an extra tariff on our cars going over....we invented THESE THINGS.. why in sams hill do we need to buy from OTHERS???

When I think of all the tech gadgets INVENTED here---but not made here...that makes me sick.......some will say but the company has to make $$$...bullcrappy.....we are going in the tank here....if we don't stop
sending our jobs away & we can kiss our tails goodbye...
If we (the common folks) would stick together we could change the economy almost over night..

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 10:35 am
0
0
SeenitB4 it is to support the

SeenitB4 it is to support the American style of Capitalism...

Boards of Directors, CEOs, COOs and Presidents of these multi-national companies simply are driven by profit and increasing their profits. As for caring for individuals as a resource it is no longer a concern.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 12/17/11 - 12:29 pm
0
0
countyman...it's great to
Unpublished

countyman...it's great to DREAM of a idealistic world.....but at the end of the day....we LIVE in a realistic world. Correction...most of us live in a realistic world.

corgimom
32231
Points
corgimom 12/17/11 - 12:52 pm
0
0
If all of these jobs are

If all of these jobs are being created in Augusta, how is it that nobody on this blog knows anyone that has gotten one of these jobs?

For me not to know anyone is one thing; but why is it that nobody else knows?

Countyman, it's not "haterade" at all; it's wanting THE TRUTH to be spoken, not the PR junk that has been rammed down Richmond County citizens' throats.

The TEE center/parking deck debacle will be the tipping point for RC voters. They are now getting the idea that the DDA, the Mayor's office, the Board of Commissioners, etc. have promoted their own pet projects on the backs of the voters- and has caused terrible long-term problems.

When RC doesn't have enough police officers or firefighters, but Deke pushes an unneeded ballpark, something is desperately dysfunctional and just plain wrong.

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 12/17/11 - 01:14 pm
0
0
Wow - Augusta is #2 for the
Unpublished

Wow - Augusta is #2 for the weakest perfoming economic metro area....I guess they can engrave that on the trophy right next to Augusta having the #3 worst drivers (1. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 2. Orlando, Fla. 3. Augusta, Ga.) in the United States from an article about two weeks ago. So, two weeks ago we were #3, this week we are #2, so what will put us in the #1 position for the first of the year? Hmmmm?

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 01:29 pm
0
0
Corgimom, I totally agree.

Corgimom, I totally agree.

We still have the upcoming fight regarding the unnecessary Downtown Stadium Initiative. If the Ripken Organization wants to fund it with local private investment I do not have a problem at all with the initiative but taxpayer funded to any degree or through a special tax I have a big problem with it.

As for the other pet projects, the TEE Center is undersized and underbooked and over budget and soon to be over due, coupled with the debacle none of the local media either print or radio/tv are really talking about or investigating, the scandal of the parking deck. I mean excuses are great but when you talk about million dollar mistakes there is an investigation. An impartial investigation with real investigative powers is called for now.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 01:30 pm
0
0
There is change on the

There is change on the horizon...

maandpa
329
Points
maandpa 12/17/11 - 01:34 pm
0
0
Statistics are usually skewed

Statistics are usually skewed and reported in such ways that one needs to filter through what they read. For example, think about it--Detroit is coming from "rock bottom" with the car industry. So as they are coming back, of course, the picture will look grandiose.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 12/17/11 - 01:47 pm
0
0
A new Public Hearing for the

A new Public Hearing for the Laney-Walker Overlay District is scheduled for January 4, 2012 @ 3 p.m. Rm# 803...

The last time this was up for a vote was where our government was displaying incomplete and draft documents at Town Hall meetings to discuss why an overlay zone is good for Laney Walker Bethlehem.

Funny, I wonder how much trouble this would have caused for our ARC government if it was for an overlay zone say for Summerville and the residents and home owners were not sufficiently briefed.

Sargebaby
4693
Points
Sargebaby 12/17/11 - 02:04 pm
0
0
Beside all the above, how

Beside all the above, how long will the new KROC center continue to operate? The few times I've been by there, all I've seen are the employees cleaning up the place!

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 12/17/11 - 03:52 pm
0
0
Pu239... How am I dreaming?

Pu239... How am I dreaming? Did you not click on the links I provided? I included the links to back up my facts, and there's nothing else to discussed...

Corgimom... The majority of those jobs won't happen until 2012.. Please name any of my comments who aren't true... Plus their is no 'if' these jobs are being created... Are you psychic? You don't know if somebody on this blogs knows a person who landed a job..

Pearlthesquirrel.. Augusta isn't ranked #2, but only one of the 'weakest' perfoming metros..

Sargebaby.. The Kroc Center has millions of dollars to use to fix anything for several decades..

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 12/17/11 - 05:12 pm
0
0
From YOUR link....."For the
Unpublished

From YOUR link....."For the July opening, the facility will have one 1,000-square-foot module and a laboratory. The company will employ 10 to 12 people to start but plans to hire more than 200 over the next two years." There MAY be 200 jobs in the near future (DREAMER) or there may NOT be 200 jobs in the near future (Realist)

It's same scenario with Rural Sourcing...everyone is glad they are here and wishes them well. We all hope for the growth that will create these jobs, but you have to temper that hope with a dose of realism.

So your FACTS seem to be taken out of context....

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 12/17/11 - 05:20 pm
0
0
And you can be as dismissive
Unpublished

And you can be as dismissive as you like...read the comments concerning your posts...

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 12/17/11 - 07:16 pm
0
0
Wondering if I should

Wondering if I should continue planning to re-relocate to the CSRA from Greenville. I see nothing promising in the job market there and not much available in a variety of housing. The same as it was 7 yrs ago.

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