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Slow growth foreseen for Albany MSA in 2013

Local businessman Rick Doherty, left, speaks with Dean Robert Sumichrast, center, and an unidentified associate of UGA's Terry College of Business at the Hilton Garden Inn Tuesday.

Local businessman Rick Doherty, left, speaks with Dean Robert Sumichrast, center, and an unidentified associate of UGA's Terry College of Business at the Hilton Garden Inn Tuesday.

EDITORS NOTE: This is the first of a three-part series on the economic forecast from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

ALBANY, Ga. — The effects of the Great Recession will continue to be felt in 2013 as a largely jobless recovery continues for those in the Albany metro area, officials with the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business said Tuesday.

That doesn’t mean that the Albany area — which includes Dougherty, Lee, Terrell, Baker and Worth counties — won’t continue to see a marked improvement but that the recovery will be stymied by factors such as a drop in population and the lack of a highly-educated work force, Beata Kochut of the Selig Center for Economic Growth said.

On the positive side, the Albany Metroploitan Statistical Area continues to see a falling unemployment rate, and October’s preliminary 9.3 percent rate is the lowest seen since July 2008.

The labor force, however, has also dropped when compared to last year as unemployed workers seeking gainful employment have left the area to find jobs. In total, the labor force has shrunk by 3.2 percent between 2007 and 2011, a number significantly higher than the state average of 1.8 percent. For 2011, more people moved out of the MSA as a percentage of the total population than any other metro area in the state.

That being said, Kochut did point to the month of October, whose preliminary labor statistics show that 1,000 new jobs were added in the MSA.

Retail trade is still the top performer in the local economy, with more jobs expected in the warehousing industry. Manufacturing, she said, held steady, while the big loser in terms of jobs was the government sector, a trend that is likely to continue through 2013.

Kochut said that between 2008 and 2012 K-12 enrollment dropped throughout the area, hospital occupancy went down and the need for some government services has also dropped.

She predicts more government jobs will be trimmed as spending cuts are carried out.

Kochut said 65 percent of exports from the Albany MSA are related either to agriculture, food and beverage production, or general manufacturing.

Between 2008 and 2011, value of the goods produced in the Albany MSA increased by 191 percent, the single largest jump as a percentage in the state.

Kochet said businesses related to the life sciences — health care, agriculture and food manufacturing — will see growth, while general manufacturing will stay about the same.

Comments

FryarTuk 2 years ago

This surprise anybody? With the school system, the city and county running around like a Chinese fire drill, high taxes, squandering governments, non-profit properties devastating the tax base. I understand their going to award (MEAG) millions of dollars to retain and attract businesses. How do I get mine? What a bunch of intellectual midgets . . . ehr little people.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

We pay these little people big bucks to tell us what the little people already know, Fryar. Can't get better than this, for them, eh?:)

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ibatester 2 years ago

Perhaps I missed it in the article but what does the acronym MSA mean?

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J.D._Sumner 2 years ago

Metropolitan Statistical Area. It's synonymous with Albany Metro area, etc. It means the area made up of Dougherty, Lee, Terrell, Baker and Worth County.

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ibatester 2 years ago

J. D., thanks for explaining the term.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years ago

"For 2011, more people moved out of the MSA as a percentage of the total population than any other metro area in the state".

"Retail Trade is still the top performer"

Two things the City Commissioners should hear and try to comprehend.

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VietVet1 2 years ago

Why don't they show the continued increase of babies on welfare?

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Cartman 2 years ago

Unfortunately this is predicting the obvious. Our weakness is industrial activity. We have more residential and commercial than we need. Attracting manufacturers to our area would be a real challenge. Deserved or not - we have a bad reputation. A number of manufacturers have bet on us and ended up leaving. The answer is not to tax the diminishing group that remains. And the FSA is leeching the blood out of what is left. We are definitely on the downhill slide. But we now have an Olive Garden!

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

There are great things around the area which are attractive. They have to do more with recreation and culture. The factors for business all have to point toward the bottom line. Our area scores very low when it comes to that. With Phoebe being ranked as one of the 25 worst hospitals in the nation, the DCSS completely debilitated, the constant fighting within the city, the corruption in city government, high costs of energy, poor working force, crime, wasteful government and high taxes we don't have much to put on our score card. The CofC is basically useless and has no viable vision then maybe a vision is not possible.

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ZCorp 2 years ago

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

(Sorry)

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