It's time for local government in Volusia County to get back to hiring, but it shouldn't take massive tax hikes to get there.
In the latest employment report from the state, local government was down 600 jobs in August from August 2012. That's actually an improvement, because it has been even more.
Some of the tax increases municipal governments are seeking are necessary after they held the line for the past few years. They've had to hold off hiring folks in public works, code enforcement and other areas that keep cities functioning and looking presentable. The economy is improving and some modest increases won't hurt.
Unfortunately some local governments are going overboard without looking harder at areas to cut spending, which is always the case. Still, if local governments could start offering more jobs, it would help the overall employment situation.
The August report shows retail trade and leisure and hospitality were both up 800 jobs while construction was up 300 and manufacturing up 200. The only big drag on employment was local government.
Of course, these are all estimates by the state Labor Market Information division. A more tell-tale report will be out soon for the first quarter of 2013. The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages should tell us exactly how well 2013 started off economically for Volusia.
The big day is here for BJ's Wholesale Club. The store's Saturday opening will finally give the area some competition among wholesale clubs. That's already evident as BJ's opened its gas station early with the lowest gasoline prices in the area. Sam's Club finally matched it and that will help bring prices down throughout the area. While it seems most folks wish it were a Costco, the new BJ's store still will help give the area's retail some vibrancy.
Passenger traffic remains up at Daytona Beach International Airport with 53,318 passengers traveling through there in August, up 7 percent from 50,047 in August 2012.
Ozzie's Breakfast, Lunch, Bait and Tackle is going in at 2810 N. Dixie Freeway in New Smyrna Beach while the Wake Up Café is opening in the Indian River Village shopping center on Third Avenue in New Smyrna. I swear I'm not making these up. Apparently there's a lot of early risers out there, who like to fish.
Also down Southeast Volusia way, a Fort Lauderdale builder has bought the Fisherman's Cove subdivision, which was platted but never built on. Edgewater is one area that hasn't seen a lot of home building, but that could change.
Still not a lot going on in West Volusia County, but a Dollar General will open soon in DeBary. Remodeling has started on the Publix at Saxon Crossings in Deltona. I still think DeLand is poised to see some significant commercial development as its population continues to grow quickly.
Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has tracked business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 16 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.