Christina Davidson has a new dispatch up on the transformation of a small town in Georgia. A taste:
Millen has entered a critical phase of economic constriction. Most of the manufacturing plants that employed Jenkins County's industrial workforce of 1,025 closed down between late 2007 and early 2008. Over the past year, the ripple effect of that widespread loss of income has crippled commerce across the county of 8,000 residents, bringing about a second wave of closures affecting restaurants, a clothes store, a fitness center, a furniture store, and other businesses. Even the hospital has had to make drastic cutbacks.
Facing such a bleak economic landscape, many of the jobless have moved away in search of employment. There has not been a census to determine exact numbers choosing a Joad-like flight from Jenkins County, but local guesstimates range from a quarter to a third of the population. With loss of a significant percentage of their customer base, the remaining businesses in Millen are just barely holding on--often operating at a loss in hope things will get better soon.
More dispatches from Davidson's recession road-trip here (click on the car to see a post from that location).
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