Georgia's second-largest city, Columbus is home to 202,824 people. Columbus consistently ranks among the best cities in which to live -- "Best Life" magazine named the city the fourth-best in which to raise a family. Fort Benning, a U.S. Army post, is located in Columbus and employs many of its residents. The city has an excellent selection of museums, including The Columbus Museum, National Infantry Museum and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center. In the next few years, Fort Benning will add 30,000 soldiers to its training program, which will likely drive population growth in the area.
The cost of living in Columbus, GA is 7.5 percent below the national average. The median home price is $108,000, while the median household income from Columbus jobs is $37,905. Last year, home prices rose by 6.4 percent, and household income dropped by two percent. Forbes ranks Columbus in the top 200 cities in the U.S. for business and careers, and for the cost of doing business. The average commute to jobs in Columbus, GA is about 21 minutes.
Columbus Job Opportunities
Fort Benning is the largest employer in Columbus, with 41,462 employees. The second-largest employer is the Muscogee County School District, employing 6,200 people in different education jobs in Columbus. Next is TSYS, a financial debit and credit card processor, which employs over 4,000 people in Columbus. Aflac, a supplemental insurer, employs 4,100 workers, many of whom handle customer service over the phone. Rounding out the top five is the Columbus-Muscogee County Consolidated Government, with 2,933 employees.
The healthcare sector contributes a significant number of Columbus, GA jobs as well. The Columbus Regional Healthcare System (2,700 employees), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (1,540 employees) and St. Francis Hospital (1,470 employees) are all top-ten employers in the area.
Columbus Employment Trends
Forbes ranks Columbus 88th in the nation for job growth. In 2013, Columbus experienced job growth of 0.8 percent and is expected to see job growth of 1.8 percent this year according to Forbes. As of July 2014, Columbus had an unemployment rate of nine percent, which is higher than the Georgia average of 7.8 percent and the national average of 6.2 percent. Job seekers who cannot find Columbus jobs might have more luck searching for jobs in Peachtree City, GA, as the city has a lower unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. To the south, however, Albany has a higher unemployment rate of 10.4 percent.