Mon., June 13, 2011 4:46pm (EDT)

Federal Cuts Could Impact Augusta Economy
By Noel Brown
Updated: 3 years ago

AUGUSTA, Ga.  —  
Looming federal budget cuts could be a problem for Augusta's resilient local economy. That's because a military base and a federal nuclear facility employ thousands in the area. (Image courtesy
Looming federal budget cuts could be a problem for Augusta's resilient local economy. That's because a military base and a federal nuclear facility employ thousands in the area. (Image courtesy
The Brookings Institute has listed Augusta as one of the most economically stable cities in the country for nearly two years.

Augusta has weathered the recession with some of the lowest unemployment in the state, thanks largely to government jobs at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site and Fort Gordon.

But as the federal government trims its budget some of those jobs could be in danger. Recently SRS officials announced 1,200 layoffs with more predicted in the future.

Sue Parr of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce says Augusta's economy is more sensitive to the federal budget than other parts of the state.

"We are weighted significantly with the presence of Fort Gordon and SRS and even our healthcare industry which depends on reimbursements from medicare and medicaid."

Augusta State University economist Simon Medcalfe says while Fort Gordon shouldn't be hit quite as hard as SRS, with only 1,200 military jobs there any impact could hurt.

"It seems to be a little more resilient to some of the cuts just because military spending seems to be an area that's less cut than the department of energy.

More than 10,000 people work at Savannah River Site.