Our most recent update of The Quarter analyzes economic data in metro Atlanta for Q2 2019. The Quarter includes data on employment, home price indices, building permits, retail and office space, and more, with the goal of identifying what areas of our economy are striving and what areas are slower to recover.

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Highlights from Q2 2019:

Change in employment by sector: The construction sector has the highest year-over-year change among industry sectors, with a 6.3% year-over-year change from June 2018 to June 2019. Finance experienced a decline, with a -0.2% year-over-year change from June 2018 to June 2019.

Metro Atlanta continues to exceed the U.S. in total employment year-over-year change. Trends in the Metro Atlanta economy remain positive, with a year-over-year employment change of 1.9% from June 2018 to June 2019. In comparison, the U.S. year-over-year change slightly decreased from the previous period, landing at 1.5% for June 2018 to June 2019.

Total employment change: In June 2019, Metro Atlanta employment change was up 14.4% from the pre-recession peak, continuing on an upward growth trajectory after a slight dip in the beginning of 2019.

Top Job Postings in metro Atlanta:  In Q2 2019, there were 9,837 job postings for Software Developers (Applications) making it again the most in-demand occupation again over the past three months. Sales Representatives (Wholesale & Manufacturing, except Technical & Scientific Products) had 6,168 postings, making it the second most in-demand job. Registered Nurses and Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers postings ranked third and fourth, respectively.

Monthly building permits: Over the past 12 months, monthly building permits in Metro Atlanta have fluctuated, dropping from 2,565 in June 2018 to a low of 1,992 in December 2018, then up to a high of 3,579 in March 2019, before dropping back to 2,578 in June 2019.

County building permits: Only Fayette, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties had fewer building permits for the year of 2018 than they did in 2017. The remaining counties (of the 20-County area) had more permits in 2018 than in 2017. City of Atlanta, Cherokee, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton (without Atlanta), and Gwinnett had the most building permits in 2018.

Housing market – Atlanta Case-Shiller Index: Atlanta’s most recent Case-Shiller Index from June 2019 is 153.31. When compared to the other metros in the 20-metro Composite, metro Atlanta ranks eighth highest in Home Price percentage change since the pre-recession peak.

Office and Retail (CoStar): Office net absorption totals have decreased between Q1 2019 and Q2 2019, while quarterly office vacancy rates have remained stable, hovering around 11% since Q4 2015. The total inventory (in square feet) of retail buildings in the metro slightly declined by about 15,000 square feet from Q1 2019 to Q2 2019. Also, retail vacancy rates have continued to slowly decrease, from 5.3% to 5.0% over the last year.

Click here to see the dashboard and explore the data in more depth.

Data sources:

  • Employment Change: Year-Over-Year Employment Change Percentage, Annual Percentage Change by Industry Sector (Source: BLS)
  • Employment Rates: Total Employment in thousands (Source: BLS)
  • Building Permits: Monthly Building Permits, Comparison with Top-15 Metros (Source: State of the Cities Database)
  • Housing Market: Case-Shiller Home Price Index for Atlanta, Comparison with Top-20 Metros (Source: Case-Shiller Index)
  • Office and Retail: Office Vacancy Rate, Total Net Absorption of Office Space, Number of Retail Buildings Under Construction (Source: CoStar)
  • Job Postings (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)