Is Chattooga County destined to lose more jobs? That seems to be the forecast depending on which set of numbers are looked at; however, numbers can be deceiving. Published reports indicated that Chattooga County was projected to lose 206 jobs by the end of 2010 based on numbers released by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.
Bill Steiner with the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission told AM 1180 on Monday that those numbers "should be taken with a grain of salt." The numbers were based on projected job losses by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in a publication put together by the regional commission for local governments to use for grant writing.
Steiner pointed out that the same publication contained projections from the Georgia Department of Labor predicting that Chattooga County would gain 100 jobs in the next five years. Steiner said that these statistics come from formulas based on trends and that there are many factors that can cause trends to change.
He added that Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters is doing everything possible to attract jobs and industry to Chattooga County and that while things are tough now in the economy, with good leadership and entrepreneurship Chattooga County could see some positive job growth over the next several years.
Commissioner Winters told AM 1180 that the numbers used by these governmental agencies come from industry-wide projections. Locally Mohawk, Mt. Vernon and Best have all seen increases in employment numbers this year. Winters said that Chattooga County’s local manufacturers have been "very successful at retaining and creating jobs while others in their industries have seen job losses."