Tag Archives: MSA

Why people don’t speak up: they owe their soul to the company store

Some of our elected officials wonder few people ever speak up around here. It’s simple: they owe their soul to the company store. If you don’t go along, you don’t get business.

As Tennessee Ernie Ford sang in that old Merle Travis song:

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

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Valdosta MSA does OK in nationwide ranking

Valdosta #51 of 379! Closest MSAs as green on the map are Auburn-Opelika #37, Atlanta #41, Charleston #11, and Nashville, TN at #14.

Highest weighted components are for growth in jobs, wages, and salaries, so apparently there has been some improvement in those areas. Here are the rank components from the PDF report, plus the corresponding scores from www.best-cities.org:

Rank Job Growth Wage Growth Short-Term
Job Growth
High-Tech
GDP
Growth
High-Tech
GDP
LQ
Number of
High-Tech
Industries
Change 2012 2013 2007-12 2011-12 2006-11 2010-11 7/2012- 7/2013 2007-12 2011-12 2012 with LQ≥1 2012
50 101 51 128 33 73 133 84 15 4 76 13
Score 97.36 100.68 102.32 97.65 109.89% 129.20 119.63 0.56 6.0
The five job growth components are weighted 1/7th each, and the four high-tech components are weighted half as much, 1/14th each. The first four scores appear to be relative to 100 for the entire U.S. Where exactly Milliken Institute got their data is not clear, especially for these: Continue reading

Valdosta Vimeo

I've been nagging Valdosta for years about putting some of their cable TV station content on the web. Turns out they are already doing some of that, which is a step towards acting like a modern metropolitan area. Received Wednesday via Tim Carroll; I added the links and the [clarification].

From: Sementha Mathews
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:48 AM
To: Tim Carroll
Subject: RE: "The rest of the story"

Councilman Carroll,

Thank you for the recent phone call. As a result, I will research the Austin, Tx media practices to see if they can be implemented in any way here at Metro 17. We used to include a council wrap segment in each show, and I'll ask Shemeeka [Johnson, Valdosta Channel 17 Media Coordinator] why we took that out. But we can easily add that back in.

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Leon County Florida trouble ticket system

Report a Problem or Request a Service Why do citizens have to nag our local governments to find out what's going on even about cleaning up sewage all over their back yards and under their houses? How about if our governments deploy issue tracking systems? Here's an example of how that works.

As previously mentioned, Leon County, Florida, lets anyone Report a Problem or Request a Service through their web page. Find My Service Request Then you can find your service request and track a problem using a ticket number.

This is not rocket science. Thousands of businesses have been using such issue tracking systems (also known as trouble ticket systems) for many years. There is off-the-shelf software to implement them. Beyond the obvious advantages to the citizens of being able to tell what's going on with their issues, such systems also greatly aid local governments by

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Valdosta housing prices still dropping —Forbes

House prices in the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continue to drop, and housing sales are still half what they were in 2007, says Forbes. Why do we need to build more subdivisions now?

Morgan Brennan wrote for Forbes yesterday, Cities Where Home Prices Are Still Getting Hammered,

In 2007 when the housing bubble first began to burst across the Sun Belt, Valdosta, like other Georgia cities, seemed somewhat immune. “We didn’t see decreases in our market until around 2009,” says Missy Sherwood, an associate broker for Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate in Valdosta, a metropolitan area of 140,000 about halfway between Atlanta and Orlando. Once the housing downturn did take root in the area, though, prices began a 13% downward march, as the jobs market contracted, the foreclosure rate ballooned and buyer demand waned.

Today Valdosta homes are still losing value: prices dropped 7% from October 2011 through September 2012 and they are projected to shed another 4% over the next 12 months. The area has an unemployment rate of 8.3% — higher than the national 7.9% average. Scheduled defense spending cuts wrapped in the looming fiscal cliff could have a negative impact on the local economy as well. “We still have more houses on the market than buyers right now. It’s definitely a buyer’s market,” concedes Sherwood, even as she clings to hopes that the market will begin to balance itself out in 2013.

Valdosta is one of four Georgia metro areas

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Valdosta: 3rd poorest city

Valdosta #3! Followed by Albany #4! In poorest cities in the country. What can we do about that?

Michael B. Sauter, Alexander E.M. Hess and Samuel Weigley, 24/7 Wall St., wrote for NBC News 14 October 2012, America’s richest and poorest cities,

3. Valdosta, Ga.
  • Median household income: $32,446
  • Population: 140,599 (87th lowest)
  • Unemployment rate: 9.2 percent(140th highest)
  • Percent households below poverty line: 27.6 percent (ninth highest)

From 2007 to 2011, the unemployment rate in Valdosta increased by 130 percent, from 4 percent of workers to 9.2 percent. The number of employed workers declined by more than 6,000 during that time. Those jobs remaining often pay a lower salary. Last year, nearly 17 percent of the work force was employed in the generally low-paying retail industry, the sixth highest percentage of all metro areas. In 2007, just 11.3 percent of the labor force worked in retail. Valdosta, however, has an improving and active housing market. Home prices rose nearly 12 percent between 2007 and 2011. Despite these positives, 14.4 percent of housing units were vacant last year, higher than the national vacancy rate of 13.1 percent. Also, 15.3 percent of homes were worth less than $50,000 versus 8.8 percent nationwide.

The study is actually for “U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs” and this population is not just for Valdosta, it’s for the Valdosta MSA, which includes Brooks, Echols, Lanier, and Lowndes Counties.

Look who’s next on the list:

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Valdosta in bottom 10 metro areas for wages

Richard Florida writes about The Geography of High-Paying Jobs, including this map based on Bureau of Labor Staistics (BLS) data:

The Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) comes in the bottom 10 nationwide. That’s for overall average wages.

It doesn’t look quite as bad for specific classes of jobs (creative, service, and working class), but that’s mostly because there are almost no MSAs in the lowest pay tier. However, for service jobs, Valdosta is not as good as Tallahassee, and makes it into the bottom 10: Continue reading