Atlanta’s economic expansion continues with 52,400 new jobs created over the prior 12-month period ending May 2019, representing a 1.9% annual increase. During the current expansion period, total employment has expanded by nearly 600,000 jobs since its trough in early 2010, which is equivalent to a 26.8% increase over the past 9 years. A significant portion of the annual employment gains were in Professional & Business Services (+18,000 jobs), Education & Health Services (+12,000 jobs), and Leisure & Hospitality (+11,100 jobs). As a result of the strong job growth, the metro area’s unemployment rate has declined 60 basis points to 3.0% over the prior 12 months to hit its lowest level since mid-2001. Although job growth has moderated from their strong levels experienced over the past several years, Georgia State University forecasts 54,400 jobs will be created in 2019, followed by the addition of 40,600 jobs in 2020.
Atlanta remains an economic powerhouse as companies flock to the area for its low cost of doing business and proximity to an exceptional talent pool of highly skilled workers created by local universities and a strong workforce. Atlanta’s economic outlook remains positive and makes it one of the best metro areas for companies seeking quality space for relocations and consolidations. As one of the fastest-growing, high-tech urban centers in the nation, Atlanta is leading the way in creating a national center for innovation and industry growth. Recent corporate expansion announcements by ThyssenKrupp, Anthem, Google, Salesforce.com, Starbucks, InComm, Honeywell, Pandora Media, and Zillow provide clear evidence of the area’s attractiveness to employers seeking a highly skilled and educated workforce. Norfolk Southern Corp. has recently chosen to relocate its corporate headquarters from Virginia to Midtown Atlanta, bringing with it 850 jobs and more than $500 million in economic investment. BlackRock and Accenture are also looking to Midtown for their new innovation centers. BlackRock is considering leasing more than 200K SF and bringing 1,000 jobs to Atlanta by 2024 while Accenture opened its tech center late last year with plans to create 800 jobs.