I witnessed a lot of these experiences first-hand. When I was finishing school in Georgia, I moved back to metro Atlanta to find suitable work. There were very few companies hiring my experience level and the ones that were would require a 2-hour commute each way and didn’t pay enough to cover the fuel expenses I would incur (and certainly didn’t pay enough to justify moving).
I was fortunate enough to have a place to stay in the metropolitan Los Angeles area, so I packed a small valise and made my way west. Despite the gloom and doom, business mass exodus that so many pundits were predicting, southern California has a rich and diverse economy that is still quite vibrant. In half a year of searching in metro Atlanta, I wasn’t able to accomplish what I did in one month in LA: find a job. Granted, it was not the best job, but it was a foothold, and led to bigger and better.
Georgia, despite her “pro-business” rhetoric, was unable to do the one thing that the everyman looks for in an economic haven: provide a living-wage paycheque.
But now, as the economy picks up steam, and consumer sentiment rises to its highest levels since 2007, a new state keeps appearing at the top of the unemployment list. Georgia, home to Fortune 500 heavyweights such as Home Depot, UPS, and Coca-Cola, had the highest unemployment rate in the nation in August, September, and October. With a November rate of 7.2 percent, the state was narrowly edged out by Mississippi’s 7.3 percent (December statistics won’t come out until mid-January).