5 years ago

Complete Report - Fayette County Government

Complete Report - Fayette County Government

Numbers from the 2000

Numbers from the 2000 Census' County-to-County Worker Flow Files indicate that there were 45,146 employed residents in Fayette County. Of that number, 16,977 or about 37.6 percent worked at jobs located in the County. Conversely, that means that 62.4 percent commuted outside the County for employment. The two most frequent destinations for Fayette County's work force were Fulton and Clayton Count ies at 32.7% and 13.4%, respectively. Those percentages are no real surprise given that the airport is located mainly in Clayton County and the Central Business District (i.e., Downtown Atlanta) is located in Fulton County. Statistics from the Georgia Department of Labor indicate that in 2011, there was an average of 3,368 industries located in Fayette County that produced 36,761 jobs. Of that total, 476 industries were labeled as "Goods Producing" and accounted for 4,587 jobs or 12.5 percent of the total. By far, the largest component was the "Service Providing" industries. That segment totaled 2,698 firms and represented 26,778 jobs or 72.8 percent of the total. Based on those numbers, it can also be said t hat Fayette County has a fairly broad industry mix and its economic well-being is not dependent on the success of anyone employer or industry. In looking at the effects of previous recessions, Atlanta and the Metro region have been able to weather them with comparative ease. In the past, the Atlanta business community has benefited from several strengths of the region which include having a diverse economic base; experiencing strong in-migration and population growth; serving as a transportation, distribution and cultural center; and offering a business-friendly environment. However, this latest downturn has hit hard, and the city and the surrounding counties have felt the full effects. Marked by significant job losses, a significant drop in ta x collections and an upward trend in foreclo sures, the Georgia economy continues to struggle to find the necessary momentum for a full economic recovery. The Atlanta area has been adversely impacted by the housing market that are st ill struggl ing as well as the slow pace of job growth among service-producing industries. The housing market remains in the doldrums because of a full pipeline of foreclosures and a large number of distress sales which keep down ward pressure on house prices . But the good news is the rapid repair of household balance sheets which were extremely distressed following the collapse of the housing market. Mortgage loan volumes have fallen significantly over the past several years to levels last seen in 2006 . While this reduction in mortgage volumes has certainly been painful to the local community, it does mean that households that had taken on huge mortgage debt have moved out from under that burden. In Georgia which actually entered the recession late, the debt service burden has fallen back to nearly the U.S. average. And the pullback on non mortgage consumer credit has brought down the total debt se rvice burden even more. Given the rise in debt burdens during the years preceding 2008, the sharp downturn in labor markets during the recession, and the subsequent struggle to payoff consumer debt and to restructure mortgage debt, there would appear to be considerable pent-up demand for goods and services that should help to boost the local economy going forward . - 9 -

The economic outlook for Fayette County remains stable as a result of cost cutting initiatives begun by management five years ago. This proactive approach has positioned the County to be able to face the current economic climate and maintain a strong financial position. Property values did see a decline again in the current year; however, the overall decline has been mild compared to that found in some of the surrounding areas. One of the benefits of having a skilled work force is that the unemployment rate continues to remain lower than the state and national averages. For September 2012, the rate for Fayette County was 7.3 percent compared to the State average of 9.0 percent and the national average of 7.8 percent. And the local economy is showing some other signs of renewed economic growth. For example, revenue collections from the local option sales tax increased by $438,557 or 4.6 percent for the 2012 fiscal year. The upscale retail centers locat ed in Fayette County rema in a shopping destination for many residents of the surrounding counties. The quality and quantity of services provided by the County to its residents are second to none. In Fayette County, one will find one of the highest ranked school systems in Georgia, the lowest crime rate in the Metro-Atlanta area, and an efficient County government with one of the lowest millage rates and service costs per capita in the State. Each of these quality of life factors combine to make the County an extremely attractive place in which to reside. Economic Forecast: Based on the economic information that is currently available, one can make certain projections about the economic conditions that Fayette County will face during its next operating cycle. The more relevant highlights from Dr. Dhawan's Economic Forecasting Center's November 2012 report include the following projections: • Georgia's unemployment rate will average 9.1% in 2012 and will drop to 8.9% in 2013; • Atlanta's emp loyment base is expected to grow in 2012 by 39,200 jobs (l.e., 1.7% annual growth) with 7,800 being premium or higher paying jobs. In 2013, Atlanta's economy will add 40,900 jobs (1.5% growth) including 7,800 premium jobs; • Atlanta's housing perm its will increase by 56.4% in 2012 to 13,191 units primarily because of a boost in multifamily housing permits (96.7%). Single family permits will rise by 40.4% for 2012. Permit activity will increase by 3.3% in 2013, with single family permits increasing barely by 1.8% and multifamily permits growing by 6.0%; and • Nominal personal income in Georgia will rise by 3.8% in 2012, followed by anot her increase of 3.9% in 2013. MAJOR INITIATIVES As a member of the Metropolitan North Georgia Wat er Planning District (MNGWPD), the County took a major step during the 2012 fiscal year in protecting the water quality of the surface wat er which is the primary source for our drinking water. On January 1, 2012, the County created a new Stormwater Utility to help ensure compliance with strict er federal and state water quality standards . Using a new dedicated source of funding for this purpose (l.e., a sto rmwater fee based on the amount of impervious surface located on a property), the County - 10-

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