August 20, 2014

2012 Economic Yearbook

Economic Indicators for Florida's Big Bend region

Lilly Rockwell | 4/24/2012

Madison/Suwannee/Hamilton Counties

Stahl-Meyer
New York-based meat processing company Stahl-Meyer agreed to relocate to Madison county and hire up to 100 people. [Photo: Stahl-Meyer]
Agriculture is the biggest economic driver for these rural north Florida counties, which have struggled with high unemployment. Madison and Hamilton counties in particular have posted double-digit unemployment rates that are higher than the state average.
Madison County scored two economic development wins last year: New York-based meat processing company Stahl-Meyer agreed to relocate to the county and hire up to 100 people; and Annett Bus Lines is building a facility and will employ 20.

Suwannee County has a new status as a "wet" county following an August vote to allow the sale of hard liquor for the first time since 1946. Changing will create more jobs at bars and restaurants, proponents say, and enhance the county's economic development efforts.

Hamilton County voters will decide in April whether to approve slots at Hamilton Downs Racetrack, joining two other north Florida counties in their quest for slots. Susan Ramsey, director of the Hamilton County Development Authority, says bringing slots to the county could entice tourists off Interstate 75. The county will also get a new truck stop this year that will employ up to 25, and officials hope to bring a 70-megawatt solar farm, pending legislative action, this year.

Madison Population: 19,322
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): -0.03%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.06% 6.13% 25.18% 34.02% 16.60%
Per Capita Income: $26,376

Suwannee Population: 42,798
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 1.22%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
19.06% 5.95% 22.19% 33.09% 19.71%
Per Capita Income: $30,714

Hamilton Population: 15,032
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.42%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
15.98% 6.27% 29.60% 33.87% 14.28%
Per Capita Income: $19,431

Tags: Big Bend

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