Showing posts with label georgia agriculture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label georgia agriculture. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2019

How has Georgia changed in 10 years after the last recession

Georgia has made a remarkable recovery since the last recession, 
but the state is still vulnerable to any downturn in the national economy.

A decade ago, Georgia was mired in the national recession. 

In 2008, the state’s gross domestic product (the broadest measure of economic activity) declined by more than 6%, and employment in the state fell by 3.4%, a sharper decline than the nation.

Since 2008, the State of Georgia has seen a remarkable recovery from the most recent recessionary period.

Over the past decade, the state’s real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has grown by more than 23% to $588.17 billion.

State of Georgia GDP 

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Georgia Real GDP 2007-2018
Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Employment has risen by more than 13% even as the population increased by 8.5% up to 10.5 million, due to a combination of births and in-migration to the state.

Median household income has risen as well, growing from an average of $46,227 to $56,183, an increase of 21.5%. Unfortunately, when inflation is taken into account, median income reduces to a net gain of only 1.7% for the average household over the past decade.

Georgia Industries

Over the past 10 years, the largest industries in Georgia have become more concentrated and core to the state’s economy.

In 2007, the year before the recession took hold, Georgia’s four largest private sectors represented a total of 42.3% of the state’s economic activity.

In 2018, these four sectors combined for 43.4% of the state's economy.

·         Manufacturing in the state has slipped from 11.3% to 11.0%
·         Information sector has declined from 8.6% to 8.2%
·         Real estate and rental and leasing has increased from 11.2% to 11.9%
·         Professional and business services have climbed from 11.2% to 12.3%

One area of note is the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector. The industry recorded a significant increase in economic activity over the decade, rising by more than 59% and now represents more than $3.57 billion in economic activity.

No doubt, the decision to encourage movie and television production in the state through tax incentives has contributed to this rise, as well as individuals’ interest in more leisure activities.

In contrast, the state’s agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector continues to shrink as a share of the state’s overall economic activity.

While the sector did rise by 4.8% over the decade, it actually became less important to the state’s economy, dropping from 0.9% of the state’s GDP in 2008 to 0.7% in 2018. In total, the state's agricultural interests represents $3.96 billion of economic activity in 2018.

2018 has seen a slowdown

Although growth has continued over the past decade, 2018 marked a slowdown in the rate of growth, in terms of GDP, although employment growth accelerated.

In 2018, the state’s inflation-adjusted GDP grew by 2.6%, a decrease from the 2017 rates of 2.9%.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, state’s inflation-adjusted GDP growth was 2.1%, slightly below the nation’s 2.2% growth rate.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Employment in the state grew by 1.9% in 2018, more than the 1.6% growth rate recorded for 2017.  
As a comparison, the nation’s employment grew by 1.8% in 2018.

Looking ahead

Georgia has had a significant recovery since the recession but remains dependent on many of the same industries that powered it before the last recession.

Since the value of its largest sectors has increased since the last recession, the state is even more dependent on these same industries’ health for its future growth.

Traditionally, Georgia does better than the nation in employment growth during good economic times, and worse than the nation during a downturn.
Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Despite employment growth, median household income remains below the nation giving residents less ability to build up savings in anticipation of any recessionary period.

At the same time, government, normally a reliable provider of employment and income during recessions, has shrunk in the state making it less of a counter-balance if the private sector begins to decline.

There is every reason to believe that if the nation goes into another recession, the state’s economy and its labor force will disproportionately again suffer.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Donald Trump's agriculture advisor in Georgia expresses concerns about farm labor

Gary Black, Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture and a member of Donald Trump's agriculture policy advisory council, expressed his concern about farm labor issues and their effect on Georgia’s farmers during a listening session that included representatives from the offices of Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson.

In a news release after the meeting, he is quoted as saying, “We are talking today about what we need to do now to ensure our farmers have the labor they need in the spring,” said Commissioner Black.

The release goes on to say:

During the meeting Georgia farmers Drew Echols, Russ Goodman and Chris McCorkle relayed the many challenges they faced this year while attempting to use the federal H-2A program. The H-2A program is a critically important tool for America’s farmers and ranchers who need timely, legal and dependable workers to harvest valuable crops which are seasonal in nature.

“There is no debate on the fact that the H-2A program is our best option for harvesting our crops. We just hope to work with the Department of Labor to find ways to strengthen that program in the future,” said blueberry farmer Russ Goodman. “It is very important that they understand that we have a time-sensitive commodity and any amount of delay can have a huge impact on our bottom line.”

The listening session highlighted the need for enhanced coordination to eliminate processing delays within the H-2A program. During the 2016 spring harvest, Georgia farmers faced millions of dollars in crop losses as the Department of Labor struggled to process an increased number of applications for foreign migrant labor.

“We are not here to point fingers, but instead to have a proactive and constructive conversation on how to avoid the missteps from last year and safeguard against it ever happening again,” Black said.

The news release does not mention Donald Trump or his views on immigration policy.