Showing posts with label atlanta journal-constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label atlanta journal-constitution. Show all posts

Saturday, April 29, 2017

98% of Georgia's New Jobs are in Metro Atlanta

Georgia saw good job growth in the first three months of 2017, but virtually all of it occurred in the Atlanta metro area, according to new seasonally adjusted data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Georgia Nonfarm Employment, Jan. 2006 - March 2017
Atlanta Metro Area Nonfarm Employment, Jan. 2006 - March 2017
The state saw net new jobs rise by 30,400 in the first three months of 2017. For the 12 months ending in March, the state saw a net increase of 131,000 new jobs, resulting in a 3.0% increase over the year.

Virtually all the new jobs grew in the Atlanta metro area, which posted an increase of 29,800 new jobs for the first three months of 2017.

As a result, the Atlanta metro area accounted for 98% of net job growth. The Atlanta metro area now accounts for almost 85% of the nonfarm jobs in the state.

Overall, March was the 12th consecutive month that saw Georgia posting an increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs.

Unemployment Rate

Georgia's unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, declined to 5.1% in March 2017, the lowest recorded by the state since December 2007.

In March 2016, the state's unemployment rate stood at 5.5%. 

Despite a long string of good job growth, the state's unemployment rate stays stubbornly above the national average.

In March 2017, the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5%.

Growth Industries in Georgia

Georgia's private sector recorded most of the growth in the first quarter, rising by 29,800 jobs, while government increased by 600 net new jobs.

The state’s Construction industry added 6,400 new jobs in the first quarter, followed by Financial Activities (6,200) and Leisure & Hospitality (5,000).

Manufacturing in the state saw a dip with job losses of 2,900 in the first quarter.

In government, the slow growth was due to a loss of 1,200 local government jobs, while state government jobs grew by 1,100.

Lagging Areas

Metro areas with net declines during the first quarter of 2017 included Augusta (-1,500), Brunswick (-600), Albany (-400), Columbus (-300) and Dalton and Hinesville (-200 in each), seasonally adjusted.

Over the past 12 months, the Dalton area has shown the smallest job growth, adding only 100 net new jobs since March 2016.

The story for the rural areas outside the state’s 11 metro areas is even worse.

While BLS does not report a separate number for non-metro nonfarm employment, by calculating the net increases for all metro areas in the state, the result is no net increase in jobs in the rural parts of Georgia since March 2016.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Georgia’s job creation machine continues to slow due to job slowdown outside the Atlanta metro area

Georgia 12-month percentage change in nonfarm jobs. seasonally adjusted, 2014-2016

Despite upbeat messages from the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia’s December 2016 nonfarm employment count only equaled its 2015 job growth and fell below the levels set in December 2013 and 2014, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In December, Georgia added 5,900 jobs, seasonally adjusted, the same as in December 2015. Before seasonal adjustment, net jobs dropped by 9,700. In December 2015, the state lost only 2,100 jobs before seasonal adjustment.

As a result, Georgia’s 12-month net increase in seasonally adjusted 103,300 net new jobs with a job growth rate of 2.4 percent, still higher than the national average at 1.5 percent, but the slowest job increase recorded in the state since 2013.

Unemployment

As a result of the slowdown in new job creation, even as the state’s labor force grew, the state’s unemployment rate in December was virtually unchanged over the year.

In December 2016, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent compared to a 5.5 percent rate in December 2015, a statistically insignificant difference.

Over the past year, the state added 27,767 people to its labor force, and the number of unemployed grew by 10,648, not seasonally adjusted.

Atlanta Metro Area

The slowdown in job growth was concentrated outside the Atlanta metro area.

In December 2016, the Atlanta metro area added 4,500 jobs, seasonally adjusted and accounted for three-fourths of the state’s net job growth.

Over the year, the Atlanta’s area growth rate reached 2.7 percent, slightly below 2016’s rate of 2.8 percent. For the year, the Atlanta metro area added 70,500 jobs, about the same number of jobs as in 2015.

Other Metro Areas in Georgia

Unfortunately, the state continues to acknowledge the problem of slowing job growth outside the Atlanta metro area.

Three metro areas in Georgia added fewer than 300 net new jobs over the past 12 months. Dalton added 200 jobs over the year, Valdosta added 100, and Hinesville actually has lost 100 jobs since December 2015.

While BLS does not publish a number for nonmetro nonfarm jobs in the state, with the Atlanta and Savannah metro areas accounting for three-fourths of the state’s new jobs and the smaller metros suffering, it is fair to say that the rural parts of the state are suffering at least to the same degree as the small metro areas.

Unless conditions change by an influx of new jobs into the rural and small metro areas, the Atlanta area will continue to be a mecca for state residents looking to escape dead-end careers, and the state will be steadily transformed as economic power (leading to political power) continues to concentrate in the Atlanta area.

Nonfarm Employment December 2016  /  12-months ending in December 2016
(Seasonally Adjusted. Preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Statewide Georgia   5,900      /   103,300
Albany                          -200  /    1,000
Athens                       -1,400  /    1,700
Atlanta                        4,500  /  70,500
Augusta                             0  /   4,800
Brunswick                     200  /      500
Columbus                      800  /    1,900
Dalton                             0    /      200
Gainesville                    600  /     2,100
Hinesville                     -100  /     -100
Macon                          -200  /      700
Rome                            -100  /      400
Savannah                    1,100  /    6,800
Valdosta                       -400  /       100


Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year: Atlanta area ends 2015 on high note

The Atlanta area posted the greatest percentage growth in jobs among the largest metro areas in the nation for the most recent 12-month period, according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over the year, the Atlanta metro area saw a 3.4% increase that translates into 86,500 new jobs. 

Among the large metros, the Dallas area recorded the next greatest increase, rising 3.0%. Houston showed the smallest annual increase at 0.8%.For the three months ending in November, Atlanta added 50,300 jobs, which was the most jobs created for the fall period looking at records going back to 1990.

As a result of this burst of job creation, the metro area’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.0%, a rate last recorded in 2008. In November 2014, the metro area’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1%.

Despite the large number of new jobs, the metro area has seen only a small increase in its labor force, rising by less than 16,000 people in the past year, an increase of 0.5%.

The combination of new jobs plus a lagging labor force places greater pressure on employers trying to hire and retain employees. 

Atlanta continues its role as the job engine for the state.

The Atlanta area is increasingly becoming the key to economic growth in the state. Here are a few indicators of the Atlanta metro area’s importance to Georgia:

Percentage of Georgia’s job growth attributable to the Atlanta metro area:
1-Month: 86.4%
3-Month: 64.2%
1-Year:  92.5%

5-Years: 78.1%

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MARTA to outsource absence management

On Sept. 3, MARTA’s Board of Directors authorized a contract with UPMC (University of Pennsylvania Medical Corp.) WorkPartners to manage MARTA’s short- and long-term sick leave, as well as family and medical leave, at a cost of $1.7 million over a three-year period for the transit system.

The 8 to 0 vote reflects the Atlanta transit system’s frustration over the in-house handling of its leave policies. The Board hopes that outsourcing absence management to a private company will cut costs through closer oversight of leave usage.

With added scrutiny, “the people beating the system right now will come to the forefront, and we’ve got a lot of people beating the system,” said Freda B. Hardage, a Fulton County representative on the MARTA Board.

According to the story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the goal of outsourcing management of leave is to nearly double, from 8 percent to 15 percent, the percentage of requests for unplanned absence claims that are currently denied.

The newspaper is reporting that MARTA had been spending $3.1 million a year to manage different types of employee leave internally, including vacation, sick leave and disability programs. On any given day, one in three MARTA employees is absent from work because of an unplanned event. And for bus drivers, maintenance workers or train operators, that absence rate exceeds 50 percent.

In 2012, a consultant’s audit found the high rate of call-outs cost MARTA about $11 million a year. Another assessment by a separate consultant late last year found that those costs are rising. Unplanned absences now account for $13.6 million in MARTA’s budget.

A recent assessment by Sagewell Partners found that unplanned absences are costing MARTA 598,923 total lost work hours, equivalent to the work time of 291 full-time employees and about 6 percent of the transit agency’s overall payroll costs.

FMLA leave policy is so complicated that outside vendors are increasingly being brought in to manage these programs, said Phil LaPorte, a labor relations expert and professor emeritus at Georgia State University College of Law.

“They have greater expertise in dealing with it on a day-to-day basis, and they can spend the time to require the medical verification of the condition the employee is alleging,” LaPorte said.


MARTA RFP P35334

Monday, August 31, 2015

Police in Metro Atlanta and Georgia underpaid?

Pay for police in Georgia is around the lowest in the nation.

In 2014, police officers in the Atlanta metro area received average annual pay of $41,430, well below the average pay for comparable work done by officers in the Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas, Texas, metropolitan areas according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics.

In the Charlotte area, police received an average of $48,150, while in the Dallas area officers were paid an average of $59,840. Both areas have been used by the AJC as benchmarks to compare Atlanta’s economic progress over the past year.

Low pay in the Atlanta Police Department has been highlighted in news articles running in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that have focused on Atlanta police officers’ effort to gain a pay raise under Mayor Kasim Reed.

The low pay is showing up in turnover and lower morale among APD officers according to people interviewed by the AJC.

Police Statewide Georgia

While some officers may choose to switch to other jurisdictions in the state for higher pay, the unfortunate reality is that the low pay for Atlanta officers also reflects the low pay statewide for police in Georgia, which averaged $38,250.

In 2014, only Mississippi, with salaries averaging $32,740, reported lower average pay for police officers statewide than Georgia.  Pay for police in Arkansas at $37,730 and South Carolina at $38,630 were comparable to pay in Georgia.

Average salaries for police in the other 46 states all exceeded the average pay in Georgia.
For police looking to relocate to a higher paying state, New Jersey recorded the highest average pay for police at $88,530. Other states with high average pay included California, Alaska, New York, and Washington.

Firefighters

While pay for firefighters in the Atlanta metro area and statewide Georgia is also low, their pay relative to other areas is less dramatic.

Firefighters in the Atlanta metro area averaged $35,640 in 2014, while those employed in the Charlotte area averaged $34,930 and those employed in the Dallas metro received $50,390.

Statewide, Georgia firefighters averaged $33,810, and although among the 10 lowest paid in the nation, still equal or above 8 other states, including West Virginia, which recorded the nation’s lowest pay at $29,180.

New Jersey firefighters came in highest at $77,550 followed by firefighters in New York, California, and Washington.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Atlanta Journal-Constitution a danger to workers? OSHA says Yes!

The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution needs to change conditions that threaten the safety of its workers. 

OSHA says the serious violations involve failing to develop and utilize procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing and exposing workers to live electrical wiring. The newspaper company was previously cited for a similar violation in 2011.

“A lack of safety mechanisms continues to be one of the most frequently cited violations and that is unacceptable,” said William Fulcher, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-East Area Office. “Management needs to take immediate action to remove these hazards from the workplace.”

Cox Enterprises Inc. (doing business as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) was cited for 1 repeat and 5 serious safety violations. OSHA is proposing penalties of $65,550 in addition to requiring the company to correct the violations.

The proposed penalties follow an inspection of their plant located at 6455 Best Friend Road, Norcross, Georgia 30071. The citations did not indicate that any deaths or injuries were caused by the violations found during the inspection.

Cox Enterprises prints, processes and distributes The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.