Dalton Job Losses Lead Nation
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Dalton lost more jobs in the past year than any other U.S. metropolitan area.
Dalton lost 6-point-9 percent of its total jobs from June, 2011 to June, 2012.
The area has been heavily dependent on the carpet and flooring industry, hit hard by the housing downturn.
Dalton Mayor David Pennington says new technology is costing jobs.
“They’re able to make more carpet with less people. So even though the business is getting better here, they don’t need as many people as they did in the past.”
Danny Cope, manager of the Dalton Career Center, says the slump also impacted other industries that work with the carpet manufacturers.
“So you have a lot of the transportation related companies. You have a lot of tire dealers, and people who work on large trucks. You have a lot of mechanics who have been affected, a lot of service industry.”
Despite the loss of 46 hundred jobs, local officials say they are turning things around.
Brian Anderson, with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, says they are luring new businesses.
“You can’t diversify an economy that’s been built around such a huge industry like the carpet industry overnight.”
But he says the chemical companies in Dalton which used to produce products solely for the carpet industry have now begun marketing their products to other industries.
Mayor David Pennington says they have lowered the property tax four years in a row, and are looking for other ways to lure business.
“One thing that’s helping in Dalton at the moment is that we went back to a nickel sales tax January first. We now have the lowest sales tax in the south. And our retail sales are growing at three times the state average.”
Tags: Dalton, carpet industry, Mayor David Pennington