Sunday, December 22, 2019

State of Georgia personal income increases, individual income tax revenues decline: All driven by changes in the Atlanta metro area

Personal income in the State of Georgia grew by 3.8% in the third quarter of 2019, the same growth rate as the nation.

State personal income totaled $515.06 billion compared to $510.258 billion in the second quarter of the year placing the state as ranking 19th in its personal income growth rate.

Since the third quarter of 2018, the state’s personal income has risen by more than 4.3%.

The increase occurs even as Georgia reports lower Individual Income Tax collections over the quarter.

In July, Individual Income Tax collections came in $72.5 million above the amount collected in July 2018. In August and September, Individual Income Tax collections came in below amounts for the previous year by -$58.3 million, and -$27.4 million respectively. 

Combined, Individual Income Tax collections decreased by -$14.2 million compared to the same period last year.

GDP growth driven by the Atlanta metro area

Newly released information from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) demonstrates how the state’s development is being driven by the Atlanta metro area.

Georgia is highly dependent on the Atlanta metro area for the state’s prosperity and suffers when growth in the Atlanta area slows.

In 2018, the Atlanta metro area’s real GDP (a measurement of all goods and services adjusted for changes in prices, either inflation or deflation) rose by 2.5% compared to 2.4% for the State of Georgia and 2.9% for the nation.

The previous year, the Atlanta metro area’s real GDP rose by 4.1% compared to the state’s 3.7% and the nation’s 2.4% growth rate.

Five-year growth rates

More evidence for the outsized role that the Atlanta metro area plays in the state’s growth comes from recently released county GDP numbers.

The Atlanta area’s real GDP rose by 21.6% in the most recent five-year period compared to a rise of 17.35% for the state.

Five of the six counties showing the greatest dollar growth in GDP are located in the Atlanta area, including Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Clayton counties, each with real GDP growth greater than $2 billion over the past five years.

The only other county in Georgia with GDP growth of more than $2 billion was Chatham County, part of the Savannah metro area.

Fulton County was responsible for the largest GDP in the state, at $152.3 billion and recorded a 24.42% real GDP growth rate since 2013.

Georgia has 159 counties, the most of any state east of the Mississippi River, and Fulton County’s GDP exceeds the combined GDP of 144 of those 159 counties.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Georgia jobs data for 3rd quarter revised up; job growth concentrated around Atlanta metro area

Georgia 12-month percentage job growth rate, Jan 2017-Oct 2019
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

With release of revised job numbers for September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has revised upward seasonally adjusted job growth in Georgia for the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Preliminary data indicated the state had added 22,000 jobs in the July-to-September period.

With the revised data, that number grew to 22,400, besting the numbers for the 3rd quarter of 2018, which showed job growth of 22,100.

The Atlanta area recorded a better than originally reported job increase over the quarter. Preliminary estimates indicated that Georgia’s largest metro area had added 14,700 jobs but the revised data showed the increase to be 16,400.

With the revision, Savannah lost fewer jobs than originally reported with preliminary data showing a quarterly loss of 1,800 jobs and revised loss of only 1,500 jobs. Over the past 12 months, Savannah’s job growth has been anemic with an increase of only 1,000 net new jobs out of a total job market of more than 180,000 jobs.

Altogether, the number of new jobs added in all metro areas in the state rose from 3,900 in the preliminary estimate to 16,700 in the revised estimate.

Job Growth Concentrated in the Atlanta Metro Area

Despite the upward revisions, new jobs have become increasingly concentrated in the Atlanta metro area.

With the concentration of new jobs in the Atlanta area, the state’s overall job growth rate can be misleading.

While Georgia has a statewide job growth rate of 1.6% over the past 12 months, if you subtract out the Atlanta metro area, the rest of the state is posting a job growth rate of less than 0.8%. The Atlanta metro area is currently posting a 2.1% job creation rate.

Even though Georgia’s metro area is home to 61% of the state’s employment, for the first 10 months of 2019 (January-October), the Atlanta metro area accounted for more than 9 out of 10 new jobs.

Of the 54,400 net new jobs created in Georgia over the recent 10-month period, 50,400 were in the Atlanta area.

As a comparison, in the first 10 months of 2018, of the 74,400 net new jobs created in Georgia, the Atlanta area saw 49,100 net new jobs, or 2/3’s of the state’s total.