Is Albany still the economic capital of this part of the state? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Is Albany still the economic capital of this part of the state?

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March 24, 2008

Albany -- Is Albany still the economic capital of this part of the state? New statistics show that Albany and Dougherty County trail Valdosta and Lowndes County when it comes to both population and economic growth.

From January 2003 to January of this year, Albany's labor force had a slight jump from about 73,000 to a little more than 75,000. During that same time, Valdosta's workforce jumped by 8,200.

Over the last five years, Albany lost 1,600 manufacturing jobs. Just last year in the Valdosta area, Manufacturers announced more than 8 new job openings.

What growth there is in Albany is mainly in the retail sector.

Kohl's Department Store opened earlier this month and managers say Albany is a great retail location.

"It's been great, had a great turnout. It's just been awesome for the community and everyone at the store. We've enjoyed it immensely," said Justin Glynn, Kohl's Assistant Store Manager.

Kohl's provided more than 100 jobs to the Albany area.

More people now live in Lowndes County than Dougherty County.

Census Bureau statistics shows a significant increase in the Lowndes County population between 2002 and 2007. Dougherty County's population went down slightly in that same time period.

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