Atlanta Journal-Constitution on GA, NC Jobs
A recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution compares Georgia and North Carolina’s economic stability and job growth in the face of anti-LGBTQ legislation proposed in each state. The main difference between the states is that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the legislation into law, while Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed similar legislation.
Georgia is set to hear arguments once again over proposed ‘religious liberty’ legislation in the winter.
Renewing debate over Georgia’s discriminatory legislation would thrust the state back into the national spotlight, which it experienced when companies such as General Electric immediately abandoned its efforts to scout Atlanta for its future home for its digital division after legislators passed the religious liberty bill. When Gov. Deal vetoed the bill, GE returned.
GE’s return as well as jobs added since Deal’s veto representing more than $2.6 billion in investment will be key debate points defending the conservative governor’s decision. Georgia also won over North Carolina for blue chip prizes from Adidas, and just last week, a division headquarters and global software hub by industrial giant Honeywell.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said of the state’s business growth: “I know that the GE Digital decision and the Honeywell decision were largely driven by our state’s forward-looking attitude. That’s been conveyed to me by individuals at the highest levels of both organizations.”
The article presents the two states as similarly sized, including data such as North Carolina’s unemployment rate at 4.7 percent in July and Georgia’s at 4.9 percent in August. In addition, North Carolina added 94,000 in the past year ending in July, while Georgia added 116,000. From April through July, Georgia added 25,700 public and private sector jobs, while North Carolina performed slightly better in the face of controversy with 30,100.
North Carolina has lost business deals such as a Pay Pal tech center in Charlotte, the NBA relocating its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, and the NCAA and ACC both pulled championship games from the state. Georgia is a top contender for these relocations, which could be jeopardized if the state re-enacts discriminatory legislation.
Deal told GOP officials at an August meeting of Republican House legislators that North Carolina has suffered a 3.8 percent loss in private sector jobs, while Georgia added 2.6 percent.