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January 6, 2016

MAC Economist Tom Cunningham talks business trends on WABE

MAC Economist Tom Cunningham sat down with Rose Scott and Jim Burress, hosts of WABE's Closer Look, to discuss the status of Georgia's economy and the economic trends for 2016.  Among the major issues discussed were the 2007-2009 recession and subsequent recovery, industry growth sectors within the state's economy and Atlanta's regional competitiveness, specifically its ability to attract Fortune 500 companies.  Tom noted that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport continues to be a major asset for our region in courting large, multinational firms.

Changes to Georgia's business climate or taxation issues could be the biggest threat to economic development, he noted. Currently, Atlanta ranks 3rd among U.S. cities calling Fortune 500 companies home.  Tom explained that a concentration of multinational corporations in a region tends to attract more businesses overtime.

On transportation, Tom noted that workers, particularly millennials, desire access to transportation options and  Atlanta, as a whole, is not doing particularly well at attracting and retaining millennials.  He said simply retaining a larger share of the 250,000 college students in the metro area would go a long way to addressing our workforce needs.

You can listen to the full WABE interview by clicking here

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