In tomorrow's AJC

In 2010, how will Georgia’s economy rebound?

When it comes to jobs – and the economy – health care is expected to keep growing.

Construction, real estate and financial services?

Not so much.

But what about manufacturing?

It once dominated the nation’s economy, and as we enter a new year, some economists say the sector could be a critical component of growth‚ even in places such as metro Atlanta.

Advocates for manufacturing argue that the emphasis on consumption that brought about the trade deficit went hand-in-hand with the neglect of manufacturing. That is, the less we made and sold, the more we imported and borrowed.

Yet now, manufacturing could be at least a partial answer to both the scarcity of decent-paying jobs and the need to put U.S. trade in better balance.

But here, in Georgia, questions abound.

First, there’s pay: Manufacturing in Georgia on average pays 11 percent more than other jobs, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

And while manufacturing may be crucial, another larger question looms:

Is metro Atlanta a viable place to put it?

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