The job market in the state of Georgia is on shaky ground as unemployment claims are up 3.5 percent from last month. For the second consecutive month the number of people unemployed statewide in Georgia has increased, a stark contrast to local numbers.
Bradley Richardson moved to Thomas County from Monticello five years ago for one reason.
Bradley says, "There's more opportunities here. The city is growing like crazy. The city does a great job attracting new businesses here."
Within the last year new restaurants and hotels have been sprouting up with more coming soon. A beef manufacturing plant called Fresh Foods will bring even more jobs next year.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce says within the last year there's been a 50 percent drop of unemployment insurance claims in Thomas County, which is a major indicator that job creation is up locally.
Don Sims, president of the Chamber of Commerce, says, "People that live in the seven county area that Thomasville considers, it's major market. There's job opportunities out there for people that want good jobs, so we are aggressively seeking new employment opportunities here. We've had success. We don't want to stop until everyone who wants a job has one."
Richardson adds, “We make a good living and the town is great, schools are good."
Sims says as Thomas County's population continues to grow, especially with retirees, he's certain more industries will be lured in as well, an optimistic outlook locally, possibly contributing to a brighter economy statewide.
Georgia's jobless rate is rising, but officials say it's still lower than a year ago. Florida's unemployment rate fell this year, now at about 4.3 percentage points from the month before.