Georgia is ready to weather the economic storm

No wonder US Gross Domestic Product forecasts have been slashed by most organizations. According to most economists, the United States is likely to fall into a severe recession after the rest of the world.

But here in Georgia things look a lot brighter.

According to Merchant Maverick’s research, Georgia ranks among the top 15 states capable of minimizing the economic impact of a recession. More good news comes from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to state-by-state first-quarter GDP figures, Georgia’s economy is her sixth-best-performing in the country, outperforming all other Southern states, including Florida and Texas. Georgia is also among the top 10 states with strong rainy day funds in the state budget.

Peach State’s outlook is more optimistic than most of the country due to key decisions made over the past decade. First, after the Great Recession of 2007, we grew our economy and diversified our industry mix.

Over the past four years, Gov. Brian Kemp has eased restrictions and increased state reserves while keeping the state open during COVID-19. This sent the message that businesses can stay in business and grow, and that our state is a safe place for business investment. The Georgia Department of Economic Development marks his four-year record growth, with over 119,963 new jobs, his $42.9 billion in new investments from over 1,281 projects, and a record 412 taken across the state. released entertainment works. About 77% of it is located in rural areas, further enhancing economic opportunities wherever you live and solidifying Georgia as an innovative leader in the next generation of e-mobility.

Equally important to our recovery and standing is the General Assembly, which focuses on jobs and communities, led by Speaker of the House David Ralston and Lieutenant Governor Jeff Duncan. In recent years, they have taken a responsible and accountable approach to government, passing laws that address labor shortages, public safety, infrastructure, healthcare and rural broadband.

Georgia’s coordinated state business network is also important for recording growth. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and local chambers of commerce are working in partnership with community and state leaders on both sides of the aisle, with the governor dedicated to a safer, healthier state and economy.

To maintain economic advantage through turbulent times, we must actively build on this effective and efficient foundation. Earlier this year, we released a report focused on New Georgia’s economic growth. Research clearly shows that next he must continue to focus policy and strategy on three key areas.

1.) Georgia has a strong history of infrastructure investment that needs to be maintained. The infrastructure of the future requires a dynamic energy grid, a complete Plant Vogtle, a diverse portfolio and e-mobility charging. We also need to invest in our supply chain by building rail, air, port and road infrastructure. Demand for third-party logistics services is projected to double he to $408 billion over the next five years, confirming the significant growth the state is experiencing. Georgia must also focus on cybersecurity, healthcare outcomes, and communications to ensure that all communities and all businesses have access to global markets.

2.) We must also continue to build the innovative, inclusive and dynamic economy we started in 2008. It will do this by increasing the success of minority SMEs, helping more Georgians start their own businesses, and attracting more R&D and technology investment. Our state research universities generate more than $2 billion annually in public and private research and development funding, proving our state is ready for even greater innovation and growth. increase. Our local and state elected leaders must continue to deliver innovative policies and a competitive tax and incentive business environment that levels the playing field with other states .

3.) Finally, the ongoing talent war must be won and short-term and long-term labor shortages must be addressed. If there is a recession, the unemployment rate will rise. Forecasts show that it will be a short-term challenge. In the long term, communities in Georgia will need to better coordinate their workforce’s housing stock and career paths. Need more hands-on training. Educators have to deal with unfinished learning issues resulting from lost classroom time due to COVID-19. We must also reform our legal immigration system across the country to address the acute industry talent shortage.

By 2025, Georgians will have to fill 30,000 manufacturing jobs, 122,000 medical jobs, 40,000 educators, and 13,000 skilled professional vacancies. By 2030, we will need 42% more energy workers, 31% more data specialists and 33% more cybersecurity professionals.

Working closely with President Sunny Perdue of the University of Georgia System, Commissioner Greg Dozier of the Georgia Tech System, and State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods, we are rethinking workforce development and quality education to transform the economy. You can sustain growth and help Georgians stay financially secure.

The good news is that Georgia’s business, education and elected leaders are working on all of this. We are building on an incredible foundation and believe Peach State will maintain strong economic performance as the rest of the world struggles.

Chris Clark is President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

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