Georgia’s job growth remains healthy, Dhawan says
ATLANTA – The number of jobs added in Georgia in 2014 has been revised upward, from 101,900 to 145,000. According to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business, “These growth rates may be lower than the growth we’ve seen in previous expansion periods. However, they are still good and a welcome sign in this economic recovery.”
Dhawan expects the recovery to grow stronger next year as the state adds more high-paying jobs from the information and technology sector. Kaiser Permanente has plans to add 900 jobs. Comcast will add 1,000 jobs to fill its nine-story tower to be built near the new Braves stadium. Amazon Web Services, PureCars, Mobinteg, Cisco, Amtrak, Southern Company and Applied Systems have all contributed to a recent string of job announcements.
“This is good news to the future purchasing power potential because these jobs, after all, are high-paying,” Dhawan said. “Georgia’s gain of 145,000 jobs in calendar year 2014 is impressive. However, those 145,000 jobs being created aren’t giving the economy nearly as big of a bang for its buck as it did back in the 1990s when slightly fewer jobs, but with greater purchasing power, were created.”
During those glory days of the 1990s, one-third of the jobs were high-paying, resulting in a tax revenue growth of 7.1 percent. Now, one-third of the jobs are in the low-paying category that resulted in a tax growth of only 5.5 percent in 2014.
Construction workloads will remain heavy in the state. Many big projects are already on the docket, such as the Braves and Falcons stadiums and the Savannah port expansion. In addition, new announcements of hotels will combine with the building of new headquarters across the region, which will keep construction jobs robust over the forecast period. The continuation of healthcare employment growth in the coming years will also boost state job totals, after benchmark revisions revealed the “missing” healthcare jobs.
Overall, Dhawan expects stronger gains in high-paying jobs going forward with significant job growth in the sectors of business services, information and healthcare. The Georgia economy will add jobs in 2015 at a growth rate of 2.9 percent, with 27.8 percent coming from the premium category. Highlights from the Economic Forecasting Center’s report for Georgia and Atlanta include:
- Georgia’s job creation slowed to 1.8 percent for the first quarter of 2015. Expect a job growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2015, which moderates to 2.3 percent in 2016 and 2.2 percent in 2017.
- Nominal personal income will increase 4.7 percent in 2015, 5.2 percent in 2016 and 5.8 percent in 2017.
- Strong employment growth continued in Atlanta, growing by 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015. Expect a job growth rate of 3.4 percent in 2015, a strong 2.7 percent in 2016 and 2.6 percent in 2017.
- Atlanta’s housing permits increased 3.5 percent over the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Permitting activity in 2015 will increase 6.4 percent. Permit activity will grow 11.5 percent in 2016 as multifamily permits return to positive growth and will grow 6.1 percent in 2017.