By Larry K. Williams, TAG president and CEO
As the 2022 Georgia General Assembly session approaches its final day (Sine Die), I want to commend the state’s leaders for maintaining a favorable environment for innovation and growth.
Georgia in January recorded its lowest ever unemployment rate of 3.2 percent and its all-time-high number of jobs. That’s a pretty extraordinary accomplishment coming out of the pandemic. It goes to show that technology is a powerful job creator that has led the way to the historic economic recovery we’re experiencing now.
More than 370,000 Georgians were employed in technology at the end of 2020, or 7.8 percent of the state’s overall workforce, according to CompTIA. These tech jobs pay about twice the average for all jobs, and more are being added all the time. After a banner year for tech in 2021, the tech job numbers should be substantially higher now.
Over the years, sound public policy has helped make Georgia’s technology ecosystem vibrant. In this year’s General Assembly session, for instance, the Georgia House voted to extend tax credits for data centers and computer equipment. TAG supports the final passage of these bills because they encourage investment and hiring for good-paying tech jobs.
Last December, TAG’s Media and Entertainment Society tracked the results of tax incentives in Georgia in attracting the talent and funding needed to build a center of excellence in in these growing industries. Over the last 10 years, Georgia has dispensed more than $4 billion in film tax credits.
The results have been impressive. The state is a hub for digital media, entertainment and gaming. Media and entertainment companies in Georgia employ 40,000 people and generate $14.7 billion in revenues annually. That revenue—and the jobs that go with it—provide compelling evidence of the effectiveness of state policies drawing creative talent and production experts to the state.
Our members depend on TAG to educate public officials on the technology ecosystem, and we do this all year long—not just during the General Assembly. Kudos to state leaders for passing policies that fuel innovation and create good jobs. We share their commitment to keeping Georgia a great place to live and build a business.