Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has spent much of his first term promoting Georgia as the premier state to start a business or to expand.
In his speech, the governor claimed his efforts are working.
"Since I stood before you last year at this address, we have announced more than 10,000 jobs, and many of these are on the high end of the employment scale," Deal said. "More and more businesses are deciding to make Georgia their home."
A Deal spokesman did not respond to a request for specifics to back up this claim. We began our research by reading each news release on Deal’s website since his 2012 State of the State address. More than two dozen of the releases include announcements of new jobs that would be created in Georgia. By our count, the total was slightly more than 9,000. The releases do not say whether all the positions are full-time jobs.
We interpreted Deal’s comments that many of the jobs were "on the high end of the employment scale" to mean that they will command high salaries.
There is some support for the governor’s claim on that point:
- General Motors announced earlier this month that it was going to employ about 1,000 Georgians at an information technology plant in Roswell. The positions include software developers, database managers and other positions that are typically high-paying jobs.
- Officials with Caterpillar, which is building a manufacturing plant in the Athens area that will employ 1,400 people, said the average wages were competitive or greater than the current local averages, according to one news report at the time of the announcement.
- Baxter, which is building a manufacturing plant in Covington that company officials say will create 1,500 jobs, tends to pay on the higher end of the wage scale, some industry insiders said.
The governor’s numbers were slightly off on the number of jobs, from what we found. It seems reasonable to believe that many of these positions will be on the high end of the employment scale. We rate this claim Mostly True.
State of the State address, Jan. 17, 2013.
Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Baxter announces Covington manufacturing plant, 1,500 jobs," April 18, 2012.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "GM to hire 1,000 at new Atlanta IT center," Jan. 10, 2013.
News releases, Office of the Governor.
OconeePatch.com, "Caterpillar comes to Georgia: A look at the numbers," Feb. 17, 2012.
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