Partnership Gwinnett and Community Celebrate Positive Business Growth Despite Challenging Economy

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) July 5, 2012— Partnership Gwinnett, the metro Atlanta economic and community development initiative, celebrated Gwinnett’s 37th consecutive month with the lowest unemployment rate of the five core metro Atlanta counties (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Gwinnett’s preliminary unemployment rate for May 2012 was 7.7 percent. Gwinnett is also the only core metro Atlanta county to have had an unemployment rate at or below the national average consistently for the past 37 months. At the same time, Gwinnett’s labor force is expanding, the only of the five core counties to have a larger labor force in May 2012 than it did in 2007.

The latest government figures show Gwinnett has had the lowest unemployment rate of the five core metro Atlanta counties for 37 months in a row. 

The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), another BLS program which reports on the employment and wages of establishments, recently released figures that offered more optimistic news for the private sector. According to the QCEW’s findings, Gwinnett experienced a 1.7 percent growth in the number of establishments in 2011, the first time the number has grown since 2009 and the highest it has been since 2007. QCEW figures also revealed that the number of employees in Gwinnett grew 2.3 percent in 2011, the first time the county has seen positive employment growth since 2006. The data shows positive signs for Gwinnett wages as well, with average weekly wages rising by 3.4 percent in 2011, the highest it has grown since 2006.

“These numbers offer proof that Gwinnett is a strong and vibrant county that continues to succeed even in challenging economic times,” stated Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “Gwinnett’s continued low unemployment rate, combined with positive business growth in 2011, speaks to the resiliency of this community and its continued efforts to strengthen the local economy and bring jobs to the area.”

This news supports the ongoing economic development efforts of Partnership Gwinnett, an initiative led by the Gwinnett Chamber and a host of public and private investors. The initiative targets the retention and expansion of existing Gwinnett businesses in addition to developing new business in key market segments. Now in its second five-year strategy implementation, the ultimate goal of Partnership Gwinnett is to promote economic wealth and diversification, support education and workforce excellence and improve the quality of life for the entire Gwinnett community.

“As these findings offer positive news for Gwinnett County, they are also a reflection of the goals of Partnership Gwinnett and its continued collaboration between key partners in the community,” said Phil Wolfe, Gwinnett Medical Center President/CEO and Partnership Gwinnett Chairman. “These reports celebrate Gwinnett’s solid reputation as a pro-business community and provide further opportunity to attract new businesses and jobs to the area.”

“These figures support not only our efforts, but the work and dedication of our public and private partners and their commitment to economic development,” said Nick Masino, Senior Vice President of Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development. “As our community continues to grow, we are confident that Gwinnett will consistently experience more of these positive economic trends.”

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