Despite the substantial financial losses caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, the Athens economy is in good shape and is expected to recover by the end of 2021. That’s according to the latest economic forecast from UGA’s Terry College of Business.
“The outlook for Athens is quite good for 2021. The COVID-19 recession is over, UGA is open, recent economic development projects are going to boost the local economy, and the housing market is very strong. Plus the leisure and hospitality industry, although not fully recovered, is poised for additional recovery.”
Jeff Humphreys is the director of UGA’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. He says Athens didn’t fare as badly as some other cities during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 recession only lasted three months. It was the shortest economic recession in US economic history, but it did a lot of damage. Athens lost one job out of every 10, 10% of its jobs, but it could have been a lot worse. The nation lost, actually, 15% of its jobs. It took a much harder hit than the Athens economy. The initial three-month rebound after reopening, Athens actually recovered 54% of its lost jobs.”
He says Athens will experience above-average growth once a vaccine is available.
Terry College provides the forecast for the state and several metro areas each year. This is UGA’s 38th Annual Georgia Economic Outlook and the first one to be live-streamed.