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Old 12-18-2015, 05:13 PM
 
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I have a feeling 2016 will be a very strong year for job growth in Augusta. While 2015 was ok for job growth, it wasn't as good as 2014.

Quote:
An influx of cybersecurity-related tech jobs, an increase in leisure and hospitality activity, and an overall improvement in consumer confidence should help the Augusta metro area enjoy vigorous employment growth in 2016.
“We expect hiring to continue to ramp up in coming months as local area businesses expand,” Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mark Vitner said in his most recent regional report. “After decades of just moderate economic gains, Augusta’s economy appears primed for stronger economic growth.”
Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center has predicted the Augusta metro area will see a 2.5 percent increase in nonfarm jobs, compared with 1.8 percent for the state as a whole. The University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth has forecast a 2.4 percent gain, compared with 2.3 percent statewide.
Simon Medcalfe, a professor of finance in Augusta University’s Hull College of Business, said he is optimistic that 2016 will be better than this year – and possibly as good as the previous year.
“This year in terms of economic growth was a littler slower than 2014, so hopefully we can get back into a little faster growth rate,” he said. “In 2014, Augusta was the second-fastest growing area in the state. Now it’s running around fourth.”
The latest job figures from the Georgia Department of Labor, released Thursday, showed that Augusta’s labor market grew by 3,100 jobs, or 1.4 percent, in November, compared with the same month the previous year. That was the fourth-biggest gain in jobs, behind Savannah, Columbus and Gainesville.
Employment growth is crucial to a region because it offers the unemployed and under-employed the opportunity to increase their income, which boosts consumer spending – something that economists say is roughly two-thirds of the overall economy. New jobs also bring new workers to the area, helping fuel the home construction and real estate development industries.
There are plenty of reasons for people to relocate to the area in the coming year, including ongoing construction of new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, expansion of existing industries – such as the planned 60,000-square-foot addition at ADP – and, above all, the continued buildup of high-tech personnel at Fort Gordon, where the military is relocating the Army Cyber Command headquarters and associated cybersecurity operations.
Vitner wrote that the increase in military spending “leaves Augusta vulnerable to whims of the federal budget process” and that “cyber warfare and cyber security are two high priority programs that likely have plenty of runway ahead of them.”
The Selig Center’s Jeff Humphreys writes in his 2016 economic outlook that the Army post buildup “will make Augusta a place where military contractors will congregate.” Indeed, federal contractors such as Northrop Grumman, Unisys, Booz Al*len Hamilton and Chiron have established operations in the area to be close to the military’s cyber operations.
Local jobs outlook promising | The Augusta Chronicle
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