Gov. Brian Kemp speaks with reporters outside Amazon’s new warehouse in Gwinnett County on Sept. 1, 2020.

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks with reporters outside Amazon’s new warehouse in Gwinnett County on Sept. 1, 2020.

Credit: Beau Evans/Capitol Beat file photo

Georgia set records for jobs and economic development investments during the last fiscal year despite the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday.

Nearly $11 billion in new investments during fiscal 2021, which ended June 30, represented a 46% increase over the last fiscal year, while 33,439 jobs created across the state beat the previous record by 5%.

“Setting new economic development records during a global pandemic is further evidence that Georgia remains the No. 1 state for business,” Kemp said. “By remaining open for business and working alongside local economic development partners and private sector business leaders, we’ve been able to create greater opportunities for hardworking Georgians and prioritize attracting key industries that bring quality jobs and investments to every corner of the Peach State.”

 Kemp said 74% of new project locations and expansions came outside of the 10-county Atlanta region, along with more than two-thirds of total investments and about one-third of new jobs. He pledged on the campaign trail three years ago to focus economic development efforts on rural Georgia.

“We are making good on that promise,” Kemp said Tuesday during remarks at the annual Congressional Luncheon sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia’s international partnerships accounted for the creation of nearly $2 billion in foreign direct investment in the state.

Nineteen projects from South Korea represented the highest job creation from a single country, while Swiss-based projects led in total investment. Businesses from Germany created the second-highest number of jobs during fiscal 2021.

“The pandemic reminded us of how critical our existing industry and international relationships are to Georgia’s economic success, Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development Pat Wilson said. “We have had to think creatively and react innovatively in order to help businesses successfully locate and expand while continuing to attract key industries to the state.”

Leading industries investing in Georgia included automotive, advanced manufacturing, software/technology, logistics and distribution, and food processing. Additional strong gains in jobs and investments came from financial technology and digital media.

Investments in headquarters reached nearly $93 million, an increase of 94% from fiscal 2020, and jobs created by headquarters projects were up 281% over the previous year.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service.