2008 Economic Yearbook: Forging Ahead

Leaders throughout the state have had their eyes trained carefully on economic indicators for the last several months, aware that trouble is brewing in other parts of the country and that some key industries are ailing. But by and large, Georgia has avoided wholesale pessimism, as it seems to be faring better than other states. There is caution, to be sure, and some signs of slowing, but no gloom-and-doom predictions.

The bright spots in the state’s 2007 economic picture – ports-related activity on the coast, the momentum generated by the Kia plant near West Point and the Fort Benning expansion in Columbus – are the bright spots in the 2008 picture; and they continue to fuel optimism that spills over into other areas.

Throughout the rest of the state, there are signs that economic developers’ long-term efforts are paying off. In many cases, the individual projects are small, but their effects are significant.

Metro Atlanta anticipates continued corporate expansion and infrastructure improvements. Northwest and northeast Georgia are enjoying the benefits of tourism and new residents, many of them seeking a slower pace.

Central Georgia is capitalizing on its location, east central communities are embracing regionalism, and west central Georgia is working to manage its anticipated growth.

Southwest Georgia expects its recent growth spurt to continue, and southeast Georgia is pursuing efforts to protect its valuable coastline and wetlands as it enjoys economic prosperity.

To prepare this annual overview of economic activity in Georgia, Georgia Trend writers Mae Gentry, Katheryn Hayes Tucker, Ray Glier, Christy Simo, Patti Ghezzi, Matthew Willett, Bobby Nesbitt and Karen Kennedy interviewed economic development officials and business and civic leaders in all eight regions of the state.

The accompanying tables provide information on population, employment and personal income.

The Simon W. Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business provided statistical information for the tables.

The project was carried out by Beata C. Kochut, research coordinator.

Total population estimates are based on data through 2005 from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Employment estimates are based on information through March 2007 from the Georgia Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for per capita personal income were derived from data through 2005 issued by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. – Susan Percy, Editor

Read the individual stories:

Metro Atlanta



West Central


East Central



Categories: Economic Development Features, Features