More than 500 jobs could be added in 2011

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Existing industries could add as many as 503 employees to the local workforce in 2011, a survey indicates.

Tucson Roberts, president and CEO of the Covington County EDC and Business Development Center, said the CCEDC surveyed 19 manufacturing industries throughout Covington County in December. The industries, located in Andalusia, Opp, The South Alabama Regional Airport and Florala, currently employ 2,452.

The survey indicated that they will add an additional 503 employees in 2011 Roberts said.

“Currently, the workforce in Covington County is approximately 16,360,” he said. “If all these industries reached their employment projections, they would add 503 employees and reduce our unemployment rate by approximately 3 percent by year end.

“This does not include new employees that would be added by additional retail, service  businesses, or unsurveyed manufacturing  industries or additional lay-offs.

“All in all, this is very good news for the Covington County economy,” Roberts said. “As of Nov. 30, 2010, Covington County’s unemployment rate was 8.8 percent (the State of Alabama rate was 9.1 percent),” Roberts said. “Given these projections, we should see a year-end rate in 2011 around 6 percent, obviously a vast improvement over the past two years!”