Economy: Optimistic Outlook
The economic outlook for the Augusta metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is favorable for the remainder of this year. Employment is expected to increase by 5,400 jobs. The 2.2 percent pace of job growth is the highest anticipated for any of Georgia’s MSAs and is tied with Gainesville’s.
This job growth compares very well to the 1.5 percent pace expected for the state as a whole. An increasing proportion of the jobs will be high-skilled, high-pay jobs.
The build-out of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, the 2018 opening of the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, the focus on clinical healthcare and the area’s post-secondary education are major positives. The economy is not very dependent on exports – 3.8 percent of GDP – and therefore not overly vulnerable to trade shocks. Population growth and net migration were very strong from 2015 to 2018, and that trend continues. The focus on government, education and healthcare also makes the regional economy less cyclical than either the state or the national economies.