December 16, 2005
05-259

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations

Valdosta State University's Harley Langdale, Jr. College ofBusiness Administration provides economic tool to area businesses

The South Georgia Business Outlook, a new online economic tool published by the South Georgia Institute (SGI) of Valdosta State University's Harley Langdale, Jr. College of Business Administration (COBA), is a quarterly publication that examines the economic conditions and events that influence the South Georgia business environment.

Dr. Cynthia Royal Tori, associate professor of economics and the author/editor of the South Georgia Business Outlook, said the publication is a great example of the types of profiles and useful information that her department is capable of producing for local businesses and economists.

According to the inaugural Fourth Quarter 2005 issue, Georgia's economic activity actually improved, despite the impact of the 2005 hurricane season and the subsequent rise in oil prices. Georgia experienced a net increase of jobs in the nonagricultural, professional and business services, administration and support, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, and construction fields; and overall, enjoyed a 2.7 percent increase in civilian labor force employment.

Despite the net gain in job creation, the Georgia unemployment rate at 5.4 percent remains still slightly above the national unemployment rate of 5.1 percent. The South Georgia Business Outlook attributes this to the expanding civilian labor force and the displacement of hurricane victims, though it predicts an improvement in economic activity during the first quarter of 2006.

Bringing it closer to home, the South Georgia Business Outlook reports that Valdosta saw an increase in its unemployment rate over the last twelve months, from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. Though the publication forecasts a slight decline in unemployment this quarter followed by a slight rise in early 2006, it predicts Valdosta's economic activity to remain slow and steady throughout the first quarter of the new year.

Future issues of the South Georgia Business Outlook will include the outlook for the state of Georgia, though the primary focus will be to provide information about economic activity in the South Georgia region and to provide a forecast of expected future economic activity.

Considered a valuable economic resource, the South Georgia Business Outlook is currently a web-based publication that is linked to the university's COBA webpage and accessible at http://www.valdosta.edu/coba/2005.pdf . For more information about the South Georgia Business Outlook, contact Dr. Tori at 229-245-2246.