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Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 12:06pm

Augusta Economy In Upswing

As unemployment in the state remains above the national average, Augusta’s job market seems to be improving.

The city’s unemployment rate dropped 7 tenths of a percentage point last month ending up at 8.5 percent. That’s almost two points lower than the state’s average.

A report from the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University says Augusta has the state’s second best economy with growth in retail, business services and government jobs at Fort Gordon and Plant Vogtel.

Augusta State University economist Simon Metcalf says it’s the city’s economic diversity that has kept it from seeing the worst of the recession.

"We have a broad base of different industries so if one industry, for example, is not doing well it doesn’t destroy our whole economy," said Metcalf. "There are other industries, other manufacturers or government areas that will step into that breach."

At 10.4 percent Georgia’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for more than 2 years.