Since 2000, the healthcare industry has become the second largest employer in Glynn County, surpassing retail. This is one of the major takeaways from a new study issued by The Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies at the College of Coastal Georgia. Dr. Don Mathews, professor of economics and director of the Murphy Center, completed a new study entitled, The Glynn Economy since 2000: Industrial Structure that focuses on how Glynn’s industrial structure has changed over the years.

Mathews was motivated to do this study because he noticed that in assessing economies—whether national, state, or local—many tend to focus on what’s presently happening in an economy.

“Economies evolve, and how they change over time is much more important—and, to me, much more interesting—than the here and now,” Mathews said.

The study also found that since 2000 leisure and hospitality—Glynn’s leading sector—has become an even larger and more vital component of the local economy. Manufacturing and construction have had the largest decrease in employment, and Mathews found that Glynn’s economy tends to follow national trends more than state trends.

The Reg Murphy Center does research about the local economy for the benefit of the community and to help inform decisions about the continued economic development of the area. Being fully engaged in the life of the local community is a big part of what the College and Reg Murphy Center are all about, Mathews said.

“It’s who we are. Producing studies like this one is a way for the Murphy Center to contribute to the community,” Mathews said. “We do research that we think will be valuable to our local economic development professionals and that is interesting and worthwhile to people in the community.”

Mathews is currently in the process of completing a companion study that focuses on changes in the local labor force since 2000.

The Glynn Economy since 2000: Industrial Structure study can be found at