Sunday, October 20, 2019

Georgia employment rebounds in the third quarter of 2019

Nonfarm employment in Georgia grew by 22,000 in the third quarter of 2019, rebounding from a disappointing 11,700 job gain in the second quarter of the year.

The state’s gain over the quarter was similar to the third quarter of 2018 when Georgia posted an increase of 22,100 jobs.

Over the past 12 months, employment in the state grew by 77,400 jobs to a total of 4,635,600. The increase of 1.7% over the past year shows a slowdown compared to September 2018 when the state had posted a 12-month increase of 97,200 jobs that translated to 2.2% job gain.

Georgia Nonfarm Job Growth, 3rd Quarter, 2014-2019

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Private Sector and Government In Georgia

Compared to the second quarter of the year, both the private sector and government job markets showed significant improvement in the third quarter.

Private sector employment (excluding agriculture) grew by 17,300 jobs over the quarter compared to a 9,000-job growth in the second quarter, while government employment grew by 4,700 jobs compared to a 2,700-job improvement in the second quarter.

Private Sector Industries

Education and health services posted the largest employment gains in the third quarter, adding 6,900 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality services, up by 3,900 jobs.

Although professional and business services employ the largest number of private sector workers (705,800), the industry grew by only 2,000 jobs over the quarter.

The dominance of education and health service jobs and leisure and hospitality jobs over professional and business services is a change for a state where business-to-business employment has been the main jobs engine for a number of years.

The professional and business services sector remains the largest private employment sector in the state but the trend is toward more consumer-focused industries such as healthcare and restaurants.

Due to several factors, healthcare plays a smaller role in the state’s mix of employment relative to the nation. As of September, health services accounted for 11.3% of the state’s jobs compared to 13.6% for the nation.

Industries recording losses over the quarter included construction (-400), wholesale trade (-800), information (-200), and financial activities (-100).

Metropolitan Areas

The Atlanta metro area continues to be the engine for job growth in the state. Over the quarter, the metro area added 14,700 (66.8%) of the state’s 22,000 nonfarm jobs.

Over the past 12 months, the Atlanta area accounted for 49,900 of the state’s 77,400 new jobs.

Outside Atlanta, other metro areas recording job growth in the third quarter included Albany (300), Gainesville (1,200), Hinesville (300), Rome (100), and Warner Robins (300). Areas recording declines in the third quarter included Augusta (-400), Brunswick (-100), Columbus (-300), Dalton (-100), Macon (-100), Savannah (-1,800), and Valdosta (-200). The Athens area showed no net change in jobs over the third quarter of the year.

For the 12 months ending in September, all metro areas in the state posted job gains except for the Columbus area that showed a drop of 600 jobs over the year.

Note: All data come from by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are seasonally adjusted and are preliminary subject to revision.