Friday, January 24, 2020

Atlanta area accounts for all of Georgia’s net job growth in the 4th quarter of 2019

Georgia job growth, 2006-2019

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As job growth in Georgia continues to slow, all of the state’s job growth was concentrated in the Atlanta metro area, while the rest of the state actually recorded a net job loss in the final quarter of 2019.

Preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Georgia added 17,700 new jobs in the 4th quarter of 2019 with the Atlanta metro area growing by 22,600 jobs while the rest of the state lost 4,900 jobs between October and December.

For the year, Georgia added 66,700 job. In contrast, the state added 92,500 jobs in 2018 and 69,400 jobs in 2017.

The state recorded a growth rate of 1.5%, its slowest calendar year rate of increase since 2011.
The state did set a series low unemployment rate of 3.2% in 2019 as the number of unemployed workers in the state dropped by 14,742 in the 4th quarter.

Over the year, the number of unemployed dropped by 29,176 while the state’s labor force grew by 17,653. The combination of slower growth in the state’s labor force with fewer people seeking work contributed to the decline in the unemployment rate.

Georgia labor force, 2014-2019

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Atlanta was key to job growth


Atlanta metro area job growth, 2006-2019

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The metro Atlanta region added 65,700 jobs in 2019, an increase of 2.3%, its best calendar year increase since 2016.

Excluding the Atlanta metro area, the rest of the state added only 1,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
The small net increase for all counties excluding the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area was the worst showing since 2011.

Other metro areas in Georgia


While many of the metro areas showed some employment gains in 2019, the number of jobs added were below those added in 2018.

Albany recorded a 500 job decline in the 4th quarter of 2019 and a loss of 100 jobs for calendar year 2019.

Athens posted a 1,100 job gain for the quarter and a 1,400 net job gain for the calendar year.

Augusta recorded a 100 job gain for the quarter and added 2,800 jobs for the year.

Brunswick showed zero net job growth over the quarter and a 700 job gain for the year.

Columbus lost 600 jobs over the quarter and was down by 1,400 jobs for the year.

Dalton added 200 jobs over the quarter with a net gain of 300 jobs over the year.

Gainesville showed an increased of 700 jobs for the quarter with a net addition of 3,500 jobs for the year.

Hinesville lost 100 jobs in the quarter but posted a 400 job gain for the year.

Macon added 100 jobs in the quarter with the result of a 700 job gain over the year.

Rome gained 300 jobs over the quarter and posted a 1,100 job gain for the year.

Savannah added 1,400 jobs in the quarter and ended the year with a net gain of 2,100 jobs.

Valdosta gained 300 jobs over the quarter and ended the year with a net gain of 700 jobs.

Warner Robins added 100 jobs in the quarter and gained 1,300 jobs over the year.

Statewide jobs numbers and unemployment are a combination of metropolitan and rural parts of Georgia and includes information for 159 counties. Net gains for the metropolitan areas in the state cannot be measured by simply totaling the changes for each area. Some metropolitan statistical areas stretch over two states, so some metro job numbers include jobs gained or lost outside of Georgia. For example, the Columbus area includes parts of Alabama.

When BLS compiles the state data for Georgia, the agency excludes counties located in other states in their statewide data but includes them when measuring metro area job numbers and unemployment rates. As it happens, the Atlanta metro area includes only counties in Georgia, so by subtracting the Atlanta metro numbers from the statewide figures, it is possible to compare the Atlanta metro region to the rest of the state.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Atlanta area prices rise 3.3% and continue to grow faster than the United States


Atlanta’s employment is rising faster than for the nation, but the metro area’s cost of living is also increasing faster than for the United States.

Consumer prices in the Atlanta metropolitan area rose by 3.3% in 2019 compared to the nation’s inflation rate of 2.3%, according to information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Over the past 5 years, prices in Atlanta have increased by 12.4% compared to a 9.4% increase nationally.

Excluding food and energy costs, the area’s core inflation rate grew by 2.8% as compared to the nation’s 2.3% consistent with the area’s more rapid increase in the cost of living as compared to the nation.

Since 2014, prices in the Atlanta area, excluding food and energy, have risen by 14.9%, while core inflation at the national level has increased nearly 11%.

Medical costs in the Atlanta area rose 11.6% in the past year, the highest calendar year rate of increase since 2002. Over the past 5 years, medical costs in Atlanta have increased 21.6%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


In comparison, medical care costs for the nation rose 4.6% in 2019 and have risen 15.9% since 2014.


While housing costs are traditionally seen as lower in the Atlanta area than the nation, the difference between housing costs in Atlanta are growing closer to the national average.

In 2019, housing costs rose 4.3% in Atlanta as compared to 2.6% for the U.S. Over the past 5 years, housing costs for Atlanta have increased 20.9%, while housing costs nationwide rose 14.3%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Costs for shelter (rent and home ownership costs) rose 4.7% over the year in the Atlanta area, while costs for household fuels and utilities increased 4.3%.

After declining over the previous four years, the cost for electricity in the Atlanta metro area rose 10.8% in 2019.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Costs for transportation grew slower in the Atlanta metro area than the nation, rising 0.6% last year as opposed to a 1.9% rise nationally.

Over the past 5 years, transportation costs have risen 5.4% in Atlanta and have risen 4.4% nationally.

In contrast, costs for recreation fell in the Atlanta area even as rising nationwide. Recreation costs in the metro area dropped 2.7% last year while rising 1.5% nationwide.

Over the past 5 years, recreation costs in Atlanta have declined 3.9% while rising 5.8% nationally.