Moderator’s introduction

Today’s moderator: Rick Badie

Rick Badie joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as an education reporter in 1997. A South Georgia native, he’s covered the region’s immigrant communities, was a feature obituary writer and opinion columnist for the AJC’s Gwinnett edition.

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Looks like we will eat and shop our way out of the Great Recession. Partially, at least. The retail and food services industries led the nation’s job growth in April with 29,000 and 38,000 jobs, respectively, reports the U.S. Department of Labor. Atlantans love to dine. Here, fashion rules. Today’s guest columnists offer a regional perspective on the report.

Guest columnists:

Resilient restaurants a testament to people by Karen Bremer

Retail strong; more growth is predicted by Rick McAllister

Response to recent conversation from our readers