Augusta County has a diverse economy. While manufacturing accounts for approximately 30% of the jobs in the County, the governmental, services, and trade sectors are also very strong. In fact, the Augusta Correctional Center and Target are two of the County's largest employers. Please see our Links page for the area's other major employers.
Agriculture has traditionally been an important part of the County's economy. As of January 1, 2000, Augusta County had 29,000 beef cows and 8,800 sheep and lambs, ranking first in both categories in Virginia. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, there are 1,691 farms in Augusta County covering more that 306,048 acres. The average farm in the County is 188 acres. The market value of agricultural products sold was over $143,914 million in 2006.
Another significant component of the area's economy is tourism. Attracted by the scenic beauty of the area and the easy accessibility via the interstate system, thousands of tourists visit the area each year. The economic benefit of the tourism industry is significant. In 1999, visitors spent more that $60 million in the County and generated over $2.5 million in local meals and lodging taxes.
In 1998, the adjusted gross income for married couples in the County was $43,190. The per capita personal income for the Augusta-Staunton-Waynesboro area in 1999 was $23, 612. While total income is important, a better indicator of the wealth in a community is the effective buying income of households. In 1999, the effective buying income of Augusta County households was $32,834. Twenty-four percent of households in the County had a buying income of $50,000 or more.
According to the last 2000 Census data, there are 18,903 families and 24,818 households in the County. There are more that 26,700 housing units in the County, of which 24,818 are currently occupied. Over 80% of the housing units (20,628) are owner occupied. The average household size in the County is 2.57.
In 2000, taxable sales in Augusta County exceeded $316 million, up 2.6% from 1999. Not surprisingly, the highest amount of sales comes in the food group sector which includes grocery stores and restaurants. Other leading sectors include general merchandise and machinery, equipment, and supplies.
Augusta County has a labor force of nearly 32,000 workers. Combined with the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, the area labor force is over 52,000 strong. The County's unemployment rate is traditionally lower than both the state and federal unemployment figures.