Augusta, Georgia, best known for hosting the Masters Golf Tournament every year, is a bastion of Southern charm and history. With a population of 587,270, it is the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia. While its economy was once based on cotton production, the city has now become a regional center for medicine, biotechnology, and military industry.
Nicknamed the "Garden City," this lush area hosts the first major golf tournament of the year at the Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta is also the home to the World's Richest Drag Boat Race, which is held on the Savannah River.
Overall, Augusta's cost of living is an economical 16 percent below the United States average. Costs like housing, health care, utilities and transportation are all cheaper than the average, except for groceries. Home buyers can expect to spend $102,300 on average for a home. A one-bedroom apartment rents for around $659 a month, over a hundred dollars cheaper than the national average.
Augusta Job Opportunities
Augusta's economy relies in large part on tourism, particularly the crowds the Masters brings in, making hospitality jobs in Augusta popular. However, the city is also home to many corporate headquarters and distribution centers for companies including T-Mobile, Solo Cup Company, Automatic Data Processing and Club Car.
There are a number of manufacturing employers providing Augusta jobs, such as Textron Specialized Vehicles, Covidien, International Paper, Kellogg's and FPL Food.
Augusta has a large military population. Fort Gordon is the largest employer for jobs in Augusta, GA, employing over 19,000 people. Augusta also offers opportunities in healthcare and jobs in education.
Atlanta is a little over two hours away and offers job opportunities with companies headquartered there, such as Coca-Cola. However, while there are a variety of available jobs in Atlanta, the unemployment rate is higher than that of Augusta.
Augusta Employment Trends
The unemployment rate in Augusta as of July 2014 is 9.9 percent, versus the average national rate of 6.3 percent. However, that number may be misleading because it's largely cyclical. Unemployment rates are always lower surrounding the Masters event, as companies hire for Augusta, GA jobs to meet demand.
Growth for Augusta jobs has resumed after an extended weak stretch. Fort Gordon provides a stable source of jobs, and the city is somewhat protected from downturns in the economy because of its government and healthcare base. However, with Atlanta nearby, Augusta struggles to keep graduates from the three colleges in the area to fill skilled positions. The low cost of living does continue to attract people with families and businesses.