Sunday, October 6, 2013

Summer shows Georgia’s Job Strength : Statewide, not just Atlanta

Sometimes it pays to take a wider look at employment statistics beyond the one-month numbers.

Looking at the 2013 summer as a whole (June, July, and August), Georgia added 25,800 jobs (seasonally adjusted) compared to adding only 4,100 jobs for the same three months in 2012. As has been the story throughout, most of those jobs were in service-producing industries (professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and retail trade, as examples) with growth in service employment rising by 23,200 jobs.

For goods-producing industries, compared to 2012 at least construction employment (a goods-producing industry) was not a drag on the overall numbers.  Construction employment increased by 3,200 jobs over the three months, compared to a 100 job drop in the summer of 2012. Unfortunately, manufacturing employment declined by 400 jobs this year compared to a 500 job decline in the summer of 2012.
Government remains a drag on the economy, declining by 500 jobs over the most recent three months due to a 2,700 job drop in state employment. Federal government employment was flat leaving it to local governments to make up for most of the drop in state jobs.

Comparison to U.S.

For the three months of June-July-August 2013, the U.S. added 445,000 jobs, an increase of 0.327 percent.

In contrast, Georgia’s 25,800 job growth calculated out as a 0.642 percent rise, nearly doubling the pace of the nation as a whole. This occurred despite government jobs decreasing in the state by 3,800.

For the eight months ending in August, Georgia has added 54,700 jobs or an increase of 1.37 percent. This compares to the state’s 32,500 job growth (0.83 percent) for the same eight months in 2012.

The U.S. has added 1,442,000 over the past eight months, an increase of 1.06 percent, approximately the same percentage growth as for the eight months ending in August 2012.

After recording less than average growth in 2012, the state is now well ahead of the national growth rate for 2013.

State’s growth is increasingly coming from outside the Atlanta MSA

Of the 25,800 jobs created over the summer in Georgia, the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area accounted for 18,400, or approximately 71.3 percent of the growth.

While this might look impressive, it is actually a slowdown in the growth from the same time last year when Atlanta accounted for 175 percent of the state’s growth as the MSA grew while the rest of the state was actually losing employment.

For the eight months ending in August, the Atlanta MSA accounted for 32,700 of the state’s 54,700 new jobs, or just under 60 percent of the state’s growth.

Again, this contrasts with 2012 where the Atlanta MSA accounted for more than 81 percent of all new jobs.
Over the past years, the Atlanta MSA has traditionally been responsible for approximately 60 percent of the state’s labor market.

In summary, the state is building new jobs at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, and it is building those jobs statewide, not just in the Atlanta MSA.

Michael Wald