Fayette jobless rate jumps 56% from January ’08

Tue, 03/17/2009 - 4:11pm
By: John Munford

Fayette County’s unemployment rate has not been immune from the recent lumps of the economy.

Fayette’s unemployment jumped from 4.4 percent in January 2008 to an estimated 7 percent in January of this year, according to the most recent data from the Georgia Department of Labor.

Numbers-wise, Fayette went from 2,365 unemployed people in January 2008 to 3,694 jobless in January 2009.

Percentage-wise, that’s a jump of 56 percent in the local jobless rate.

By comparison, Fayette’s 7 percent unemployment in January is the best among metro Atlanta counties. Neighboring Coweta County’s unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, with Fulton County at 8.8 percent, Clayton County at 10.3 percent, DeKalb County at 8.5 percent, Cobb at 7.8 percent, Gwinnett at 7.9 percent, Rockdale at 10 percent and Douglas at 9.6 percent.

Companies are hiring in Fayette County, but many of the jobs are blue-collar and traditionally have attracted residents from outside Fayette, said Matt Forshee, CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority.

Most of the county’s residents head elsewhere to more white-collar-type jobs elsewhere in metro Atlanta, Forshee said. The authority, which works on attracting companies here, is actively seeking businesses that will hire Fayette residents, Forshee said.

One example of a Fayette company hiring is NCR, which announced in December it would hire 610 people as it creates a worldwide customer service headquarters here.

The development authority’s website, Fayettega.org, has a job listing that is by far the most popular section of the site based on the amount of “hits” received, Forshee said. But, again, many of the people searching that jobs section are from outside Fayette County, he added.

Forshee said he thinks the state’s unemployment spike is “very much tied to the national economy,” and while Fayette has seen an increase in unemployment the county is faring better than others.

Forshee noted that several bills under consideration by the Georgia legislature are aimed at making the state more attractive for new businesses and relocating businesses. One such bill would remove the state’s inventory tax. Another is aimed at revamping how the state provides economic tax incentives to lure companies here.

Such changes would help Fayette County by helping convince more companies to consider locating here, Forshee said.

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Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 9:02pm.

When I read the mayor wants ANOTHER transportation SPLOST while people here are trying to make ends meet I want to puke.

How about giving back your payraise Mr. Mayor???

Vote Republican

Submitted by UrKidding on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 10:41pm.

We are paying this one now, right? If it keeps your property value up does it make sense to get rid of it? It's not a tax increase if you're already paying it.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 03/18/2009 - 6:59am.

Spear Road Guy and UrKidding, I understand both of your arguments. But here is my dilemma on this issue.

I don't like taxes, but taxes and such are how we fund the City.

The SPLOST is paying for a number of road improvements, golf cart path maintenance and improvements, etc. Up to about $2 million a year.

If it goes away how do we pay for such things? Or do we forget it for a few years until it sales tax revenue improve either enough to cover it or, hate to say it, we can increase property tax enough to pay for the difference? Or do we wait and just do an improvement here and there over time, meaning a lot of path connections and such people are wanting get delayed for many years or never happen?

We need the paths since it is the only roadway for some and gets cars off the road.

So, tell me, what do you want on this issue?

As for the pay, the Mayor wanted it and then abstained on the approval vote, almost 2 years ago. No one on Council is getting the pay raise now. It begins on the next Council, so those you elect will get it.

Whether only rich folk should be on Council or not is another argument.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
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