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Economics predict modest job growth for Central Georgia in 2014 | News

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Economics predict modest job growth for Central Georgia in 2014
News

They say the Macon region will pick up about 800 jobs this year. That's a 0.8 percent increase in jobs, less than half the state's average.

The UGA economists predict no job growth in Warner Robins -- employment will stay flat at around 59,200 jobs.

Representatives of UGA's Terry College of Business spoke at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins for their annual Economic Outlook series.

Among their observations:

The Macon-area economy will show growth in transportation and logistics , financial activities, higher education, health care and professional and business services.

"Macon's role as a regional trade center will be an advantage," but the region has yet to develop its advantage as a central location for statewide meetings and conventions.

Increasingly, the northern side of the Macon metro area will become "a remote bedroom community" for Atlanta's south side. That will create economic development north of the city.

Also, the report notes that the driving between between Macon and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is about the same as from Atlanta's northern suburbs.

"So, as Atlanta becomes more congested," the economists write, "sites in Macon will become very attractive."

Statewide, the UGA economists say Georgia's economy will improve faster than the national average, due to rising home prices, "smart economic policies," and jobs.

But they say cuts at the federal level will hurt the Peach State, which is more dependent on federal spending than the average state.

"Reductions to military spending will be especially harmful," they write.

The report also says Georgia's K-12 education still lags behind much of the nation. They said improving that will be a key to improving Georgia's competitiveness.

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