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Gwinnett leads in job growth

Photo by Nick Ut

Photo by Nick Ut

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County is leading Georgia in employment growth, with a rate that is almost double the national average, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce announced this week.

The data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2010 Q4 County Employment preliminary estimates.

Between December 2009 and December 2010, employment in Gwinnett grew by 1.7 percent -- the highest increase of any large county in the state and 52nd among the 327 largest counties nationwide tracked by the BLS, the Chamber said. The growth is almost double the national average of 0.9 percent in that same period.

Large counties are defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as those with employment of 75,000 or more as measured by 2009 annual average employment.

Additionally, Gwinnett experienced a significant wage increase in 2010. The wage growth year-over-year was 3.7 percent, the second-highest among large counties in the state and 0.7 percentage points above the national average, the Chamber said.

"It is exciting to see gains in jobs and wages despite a tough economy," said Charlotte Nash, chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission. "The energy and hard work of Gwinnett's business community, combined with our economic development efforts through Partnership Gwinnett, are showing positive results."

Nick Masino, the Chamber's vice president of economic development and Partnership Gwinnett, said the release of the numbers is timely, as the Chamber is preparing to kick-off the second phase of Partnership Gwinnett this summer.

"(The numbers) truly communicate the impact of our economic development efforts, further reinforcing the importance of initiative in the community," Masino said.

Among the highest wage-earning counties in the state, Gwinnett has continuously led Georgia's core metro counties with the lowest unemployment rate for 25 consecutive months.

Meanwhile, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that CNBC ranked Georgia is the fourth-best place for business. The 2011 ranking is a six-place jump from the state's previous 10th-place ranking.

"This 2011 fourth-best ranking is a significant accomplishment for our state and will undoubtedly go a long way in helping us to tell Georgia's business story in our country and in strategic markets around the world," Deal said. "We want businesses to know that Georgia is well equipped to help them compete and succeed. Business is a top priority in Georgia, and we are committed to making every effort to ensure we remain a top environment for business."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also released its Enterprising States report this week, which ranked Georgia first in entrepreneurial activity, among other top-10 category rankings. The U.S. Chamber's report recognizes state-level efforts to create jobs and encourage economic growth.

The state's most notable gain was its six-spot move to ninth for exports. This gain also earned Georgia a sixth-place ranking for growth in share of national exports. Georgia was also ranked in the top 10 for categories such as high school advanced placement intensity, business birth rate, job placement efficiency and higher education efficiency.