Source: NorthFulton.com

Labor commissioner says Ga. economy rebounding
Housing, Obamacare issues to tackle

by Jonathan Copsey

June 17, 2013

ROSWELL, Ga. – Georgia is in a good position to rebound from the recession and is ready to add jobs.

That's what Ga. Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler told the room full of job seekers June 10 at the Roswell United Methodist Church (RUMC) Job Fair.

“Georgia businesses are creating jobs,” he said.

The state, which was once one of the fastest growing in the nation, was hurt by the housing recession more than others.

“The construction industry and associated businesses lost 85,000 jobs in less than 12 months during the start of the recession,” Butler said. “The ripple effect of that has hampered Georgia's recovery.”

Those effects are lessening as housing is again beginning to pick up. There are, however, some outstanding issues many companies are trying to deal with before they stop being uncertain about their hiring.

The biggest problem Butler sees is the healthcare reform law - “Obamacare.” Companies that would otherwise be ready to hire are holding off due to uncertainty about how the new laws will affect them and their bottom line.

While some are patiently waiting for the law to work itself out, others are transitioning much of their workforce from full time to part time, a move Butler was dubious would help in the long run.

He was also cautious about people hoping to land a cushy government job.

“The government leads all sectors in job losses and likely will continue for some time,” he said. “Most governments have cut everything they can and all they have left is people.”

North Fulton is in a strong position for hiring, if the job seekers have the right skills, said Al Nash, with Progress Partners, a part of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

“About 7,000 jobs have come to North Fulton in recent months,” he said. “A lot are technical jobs.”

With companies such as General Motors, Hewlett-Packard and AirWatch all announcing new offices in the area, there is plenty of work to go around.

“I am excited of what is happening here. There is a lot of opportunity,” Nash said.

The next RUMC Job Networking meeting is July 24to www.rumc.com/job