West Georgia Regional Update Shows Decrease in Unemployment Rates

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The University of West Georgia’s Richards College of Business has released the latest West Georgia regional update, and data shows that the U.S. economy continues to grow at a steady pace.

“The U.S. unemployment rate is now at 4.3 percent, the lowest it has been since March 2001,” said Dr. David J. Boldt, professor of economics.

Focusing on just the western region, counties covered in the report include Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson, Paulding and Polk.

The update shows that as of April 2017, unemployment rates are down in all six counties in the West Georgia region, compared to April 2016. Coweta and Paulding counties tie for the lowest rates with 4.1 percent. Meanwhile, Polk County has the highest rate at 5.4 percent.

Unemployment rates in Carroll, Douglas and Haralson counties were 5 percent, 4.9 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Also, the report shows that in May 2017, non-farm sectors added 138,000 jobs, providing further evidence of an expanding economy.

“A number of current and future developments will impact the economic outlook and quality of life in the region,” Boldt said.

In Carroll County, recent developments include a new Chick-fil-A, a new brewery operation (Printer’s Ale Manufacturing) and the opening of Southwire’s new Thorn Customer Solutions Center, all in Carrollton.

In addition, Small Town Bank opened a branch office on Bankhead Highway while construction continues on the new Southern States Bank branch on Maple Street. On a negative note, the Sunshine House preschool in Villa Rica closed in May.

New developments in Coweta County include a new Lidl grocery store, the opening of the new Mingledorff’s distribution facility and construction of a new senior independent living community, Wisteria Place, in Newnan. On a negative note, hhgregg announced the closing of its retail store in Newnan.

As for Douglas County, Las Vegas-based Switch announced that it would be locating a $2.5 billion data center in Lithia Springs. The center will employ 65 people. Additionally, KeHE, a distributor of organic products, Lidl grocery store and Pandora jewelry store have all opened locations in Douglasville. Unfortunately, hhgregg also decided to close its Douglasville store.

In Haralson County, 20 new jobs were added in this sector with the opening of the British American Rubber Company’s plant in Tallapoosa. Discussions are also underway to convert the closed Lion Golf Club in Bremen to an events center and winery.

Retail developments in Paulding County included the opening of a Clubstore Outlet and Cedar Mountain Coffee. The new E-911 facility in Dallas became fully operational in early May.

Recent retail additions in Polk county include a Little Caesars Pizza and a soon to open Tractor Supply Company store.