MCRAE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – New numbers are in and Telfair County's unemployment rate for the month of June is up. At 20.9%, the county holds the highest rate in the state of Georgia, according to the Department of Labor. For people living in McRae, the statistics reflect a long-time struggle to bounce back and create jobs.
Herman Moore, the chairman of the Telfair County's Development Authority, says the town has been on a downward spiral for decades.
"The bad times don't hurt us much worse than other people, because we never have the good times," Moore said.
In recent years, Georgia Power's district office in Telfair County closed its doors, the Container Corporation left town and in 2008, the Telfair Regional Hospital closed. Moore believes the businesses are moving to bigger cities.
"We do not have a central located community, ours is on the outskirts," he said.
The small town now depends on large employers like Coca-Cola, Husqvarna and Telfair State prison.
"It's hard to get a job here," said longtime McRae resident Nancy Keene, "you have to get out of the county to work."
Soon, she will be leaving too and moving to Florida, to be closer to family and a medical facility.
"There's no hospitals here and I have to go 20 miles to see my doctor," she said.
Keene says she will miss McRae and the friends she's made, but she won't miss the small town's struggle.