Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analyst Optimistic on Brunswick Jobs; Report Predicts 2 Percent Growth This Year, 2.6 Percent in 2006

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analyst Optimistic on Brunswick Jobs; Report Predicts 2 Percent Growth This Year, 2.6 Percent in 2006

Article excerpt

Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE

ATLANTA -- The Brunswick area should see a jump in new jobs in the coming months, a Georgia State University economist predicted Wednesday.

While the rest of the state's labor market is contending with the effects of high oil prices and a slower housing market, employment around Brunswick will increase 2 percent this year and another 2.5 percent in 2006, Rajeev Dhawan, director of the university's Economic Forecasting Center, estimated in his quarterly report.

This was the first time Dhawan included an outlook for the Brunswick area because state labor officials in March released detailed employment information for Brantley, Glynn and McIntosh counties.

The counties became part of a new metropolitan statistical area, or MSA, designation from the federal government based on 2000 Census population and commuting figures.

As a result, Dhawan was able to project the area's continued strength in the tourism, transportation and homeland security industries.

"The southern part [of the state] bordering the Florida area is doing better than the central and north part of Georgia," Dhawan said.

He said the area's workforce -- now made up of 42,000 people -- has recovered from the recession that ended in 2001.

Employment was down by 0.2 percent in 2002, but grew the next year by 0.3 percent. In 2004, the area saw one of the largest job growth increases in the state, in part because of preparation for the G-8 Summit on Sea Island.

For the first three months of this year, the three counties increased the total number of jobs by 1.1 percent, or 450 more positions, adding workers in the hospitality, construction and transportation sectors.

"While an increase in jobs is always welcome, the 450 added in this quarter is a slowdown from the 1,000-plus jobs that Brunswick added for almost every quarter last year," Dhawan wrote in his report. …

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