The Atlanta Fed's SouthPoint offers commentary and observations on various aspects of the region's economy.
The blog's authors include staff from the Atlanta Fed’s Regional Economic Information Network and Public Affairs Department.
Postings are weekly.
Georgia employment on my mind
On a seasonally adjusted basis, Georgia had the third-largest job gain in the country last month, adding 7,800 payrolls to the state's economy. This growth accounted for over half of the Sixth District's job gain (14,400) in April. What sectors are hiring, and where are losses still occurring? Let's take a look into the details of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Regional and State Unemployment Summary for April for a deeper look into last month's numbers for Georgia.
Many of the jobs added in Georgia last month were in sectors especially hard hit by the recession. For example, Georgia saw 1,300 new payrolls in construction in April. The largest sectoral gain for the month was in trade, transportation, and utilities, where 3,400 net new jobs were added. Of those, 2,100 were in retail; 1,100 were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and 200 were in wholesale trade.
Continuing its broader trend so far in 2012, Georgia's government sector continued to shed jobs in April, losing 1,200 payrolls. The only gain posted for the state's sector so far this year was a meager addition of 600 jobs in March, which followed losses of 2,200 and 3,300 in January and February, respectively.
Here's a look at how Georgia's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) fared last month in terms of employment:
As you can see above, Atlanta had the greatest level of job creation in the state in April. Athens and Columbus tied for second place, each adding 900 jobs. Among Georgia MSAs, Dalton shed the greatest number of payrolls in April, losing 1,000. Nonseasonally adjusted data for Dalton suggest the majority of the MSA's job loss came from mostly from services and government, not from goods-producing industries.
Of course, this snapshot is just a glance at one month's data. Putting the gains above into perspective would require looking at how far employment levels had fallen in each of the sectors or MSAs. For example, Atlanta's 5,100 job gain for April may make the greater metro area appear to be growing by leaps and bounds, but the Atlanta area had the largest decline in number of payrolls as well. From peak (February 2008) to trough (December 2009), the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta MSA shed 205,100 jobs, or 8 percent of its employed workforce.
By Mark Carter, a senior economic research analyst in the Atlanta Fed's Research Department
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