April 23, 2024 2:40 am
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Local News

The Tale of Two Counties: Georgia’s Economic Snapshot

The recently released third-quarter 2023 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sheds light on notable trends in Georgia cities and counties. Hall, GA, takes center stage among the 360 largest U.S. counties, boasting a remarkable 5.4 percent over-the-year increase in employment, primarily fueled by an impressive 8.6 percent surge in the manufacturing sector.

Gainesville-Hall County solidifies its status as a thriving manufacturing hub. Kubota Manufacturing of America invested $190 million in a new facility, and Cottrell poured $157 million into a sprawling 600,000-square-foot manufacturing site, collectively generating hundreds of new jobs.

On the wages front, Clayton, GA, leads the charge with a 7.7 percent increase in average weekly wages during the same quarter, primarily attributed to a significant $141 gain (10.0 percent) in the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors. However, this industrial boom only translates into immediate benefits for workers across Georgia, as the overall data for the state reveals a 0.2 percent decrease in average weekly wages during the same period.

Georgia Legislature approves coverage to help first responders cope with job-related PTSD treatment

The Ashley Wilson Act, named for Gwinnett police sergeant Ashley Wilson, passed unanimously in the Georgia House of Representatives, aiming to provide supplemental health insurance for first responders diagnosed with PTSD due to on-the-job experiences. This landmark legislation, celebrated for its potential to significantly aid in the recovery and support of traumatized first responders, reflects a broader recognition of PTSD’s serious impact on public safety personnel, promising financial and treatment support beginning January 1, 2025.

FAFSA delays pose challenges for Georgia college-bound students

Students across Georgia are facing delays in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, particularly challenging due to its late January rollout and additional complications for mixed-status families. Despite these setbacks, the Department of Education has implemented fixes for major issues, and officials, including MorraLee Keller of the National College Attainment Network, urge students not to give up on securing financial aid for college.