About 350,000 Georgia workers owe their jobs in some way to the Georgia ports. A report released by the University of Georgia says, 1-in-12 Georgia jobs is port-dependent. Critics say, the figures are inflated, counting every Wal-Mart greeter and store clerk as port-dependent since they work at a company that uses the ports.
Georgia and South Carolina lawmakers are applauding a deal to fund new East Coast port projects. Congress approved $460 million in port spending as part of a larger deal on the federal budget. But the deal doesn't mean Savannah's harbor deepening is automatically funded. Congress is making the ports compete for the money.
Georgia wants millions in federal dollars to deepen Savannah harbor. Georgia officials believe the project that has significance not just for the state, but for the whole nation. But other states want the money, too. Right now, however, the nation has no national strategy for determining where taxpayer dollars would be best spent.
A massive federal report on the half-billion-dollar harbor deepening project in Savannah doesn't examine the project's long-term impact on employment. Critics doubt the project will bring more jobs. Proponents say the link between the port and jobs is obvious.