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Bulloch gets some good news on the job front
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    Three weeks ago, I reported October 2008 unemployment statistics for our area promising to report the latest numbers when they became available. Last week the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) released their November 2008 statistics, and guess what? Bulloch County's unemployment rate has gone down.
    As Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in November, the highest rate since July 1983 when it was also 7.5 percent, Bulloch County's went to 6.7 percent, down from 7.1 percent in October. There are 2,270 unemployed Bulloch County residents at this time.    
    Georgia's overall rate remained above the national rate of 6.7 percent for the 10th straight month. At present, 365,244 unemployed Georgians are looking for work.
    According to the GDOL website of employers reporting layoffs, some of the industries hit hardest include manufacturing (particularly carpet), support services for airline carriers, construction, and food production companies such as Wayne Farms (Atlanta based poultry producer) and Atlanta Dairy. On a side note, the city of Atlanta laid off over 400 workers.
    Now that a clearer picture is being painted as to what types of jobs are being lost, it might be prudent to focus on where job growth is being predicted.
    Georgia area workforce trends for coastal Georgia have the following listed as the fasted growing occupations for our area through 2014 (each has received a "Hot" designation):  network systems and data communication analysts, computer software engineers/applications, physicians assistants, physical therapist assistants, database administrators, network and computer systems administrators, and business teachers postsecondary.
    Other predicted fastest growing occupations include home health aides, medical assistants, mathematical and science teachers postsecondary, and biological science teachers postsecondary.
    Further, the occupations with the most annual openings on the "Hot" list are registered nurses, general and operations managers, and elementary school teachers (especially special education). With the exception of a couple of the occupations listed, degrees can be obtained in each of these or related areas from Georgia Southern University or Ogeechee Technical College.
    I think that that bodes very well for the continued vibrancy of both institutions, and frankly for local residents who have access to both. For all intent and purposes, we have lost major manufacturing in this area and around the state for that matter, and it doesn't appear that it will return in the foreseeable future.
    But, what we do have are the resources right here in our own backyard to equip people to fill the jobs that will be in demand and to support industries that are predicted to grow. If we are all looking for a silver lining in tough times, maybe this is it.
    Remember, next week Business Monday moves to Tuesday. So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.

Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463
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