GSU says Georgia growth will slow; if Trump roils trade it’s trouble for high-paid jobs

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Georgia's job growth will slow in the coming year, with metro Atlanta accounting for most of the hiring, according to the quarterly report from the Georgia State Economic Forecasting Center.

The state's economy, which added 120,000 jobs last year, will expand by about 88,000 positions during the year, although worker income should continue to outpace inflation, according to the report prepared by Rajeev Dhawan, the center's director and released Thursday.

About 64,500 of the added jobs – 73 percent of the total – will be produced in metro Atlanta, he predicted.

Fuel for job growth is concentrated in sectors that depend mainly on domestic demand, which is a mixed blessing, he said: It’s good because they are not immediately shaken by turbulence in global markets, but there’s a downside for consumers’ power to spend.

“Jobs in domestically demand driven sectors such as hospitality, education, construction and government are typically lower paying, while globally influenced sectors such as large corporations and manufacturing are higher paying,” he said.

About one-in-five new jobs will be "premium" positions in sectors that pay more than $50,000 a year, Dhawan said.

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Four months into the Trump administration, concern about trade continues to hang over the economy, especially in places where hundreds of thousands of jobs are tied to it. Georgia, for example, billions of dollars in trade flow through an archipelago of warehouses and distribution centers that handle products moving in and out of the country via the air and sea ports.

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Trump’s impact on trade could have a range of effects, Dhawan said. “Trump’s ... administrative initiatives will provide a boost to small business activity and buoy overall growth. But employment will still moderate due to the negative effects of trade skirmishes.”

Dhawan is speaking at the forecasting center's quarterly conference this morning.

Job growth in Georgia -- past and projected

2016 -- 120,000

2017 --  88,800

2018 --  73,300

2019 --  68,200

Source for 2016: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source for 2017-19: Georgia State Economic Forecasting Center


AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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