Fill jobs and school rooms to even further support diverse Augusta economic system

Ashley S. Crofoot

A varied financial state aided the Augusta place climate the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but for growth to go on, persons must return to get the job done and their small children need to return to lecture rooms.

People are some takeaways from Augusta University’s yearly economic forecast, delivered for the initially time just about in a collection of films, because of social distancing issues, alternatively of in the course of a breakfast at AU’s Summerville Campus. 

“We do have a assorted financial state,” claimed economics professor Dr. Simon Medcalfe, who offers the forecast just about every year. “I think a ton of folks often assume that we’re actually reliant on wellbeing care and the armed forces base, and which is legitimate. We do have a lot of government work opportunities that aided in the course of the pandemic.”

But other financial regions carried out perfectly, this sort of as manufacturing, which Medcalfe explained is “probably underrecognized in the neighborhood spot.” Massive regional makers involve International Paper, Textron Specialized Vehicles, Club Auto and John Deere.

The construction sector also saw gains. Ongoing function at web sites these kinds of as Fort Gordon and Burke County’s Plant Vogtle keeps personnel in demand.

“Diverse economies aid,” Medcalfe claimed. “You would not want to be Las Vegas.”

The gambling and resort town is a big case in point of an place vastly dependent on the leisure and hospitality field, but the Augusta area took a considerable strike in that sector, too.

Nearby leisure and hospitality employment, Medcalfe explained, “fell precipitously in April, with the double whammy of the Masters being canceled and the pandemic.” Right before COVID hit, far more than 27,000 men and women experienced work in that sector. But in April that fell “by almost 50 %,” he said, with about 12,000 positions misplaced.

“We’ve seen some recovery considering the fact that, so that leisure and hospitality is someplace just about 4,000 to 5,000 work opportunities off the pre-pandemic peak,” he mentioned. 

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