What will be metro Atlanta's top jobs by 2040?

Recent data released by the Atlanta Regional Commission showing how jobs could shift from 2015 to 2040 indicate change in the markets of Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Many of the types of jobs, however, didn't change much.

Some occupations such as retail sales worker and information and record clerk maintained status as top jobs over the 25-year prediction. The passage of time also saw projections in the rise of others such as computer occupations, according to the ARC data.

In Cobb County, retail sales remained the top job over the 25-year span, employing 29,959 in 2015 and with 38,089 projected for 2040. Computer occupations went from not being mentioned on the 2015 list to being one of the county's top jobs in 2040, employing 26,197. While business operations specialist was a top job in 2015, it dropped from the list in the 2040 projections.

According to the data, retail sales (with 27,285 employed) was also the top job in 2015 for DeKalb County, but postsecondary teacher topped the 2040 list with 35,383 workers projected for 2040. The occupation of retail sales worker was projected to have 31,559 in 2040.

In neighboring Fulton County, information and record clerk is the top job both in 2015 (employing 51,957) and in 2040 (employing 60,164). Of the four counties, Fulton showed the fewest changes in the types of top jobs there over the 25-year span.

In the projections, retail sales worker maintained a prominent position as Gwinnett County's top job, employing 32,465 in 2015 and with 44,615 projected for 2040. Changes in the list from 2015 to 2040 included the addition of computer jobs, which in Gwinnett is projected to employ 22,575 in 2040. The occupation of material moving worker, which was listed as a top job in 2015, dropped from the projected 2040 list.

Mike Carnathan, manager of research and analytics with the ARC, said the data came from using the Regional Econonometric Model Inc. (Or, REMI), which is a "commonly used model that produces a national forecast ... Using this model, we scaled it down to our region."

Here's a look at the complete information on the ARC's website.

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area as well as the city of Atlanta. According to its website, ARC is "dedicated to unifying the region's collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. It does so through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships."

Cobb County's top 5 occupations:

2015

  1. retail sales workers: 29,959
  2. information and record clerks: 21,106
  3. food and beverage serving workers: 19,297
  4. construction trade workers: 19,279
  5. business operations specialists: 17,277

2040

  1. retail sales workers: 38,089
  2. construction trade workers: 35,740
  3. information and record clerks: 26,365
  4. computer occupations: 26,197
  5. food and beverage serving workers: 25,711

DeKalb County's top 5 occupations:

2015

  1. retail sales workers: 27,285
  2. information and record clerks: 22,143
  3. postsecondary teachers: 19,729
  4. business operations specialists: 19,688
  5. other office and admin support workers:19,034

2040

  1. postsecondary teachers: 35,383
  2. retail sales workers: 31,559
  3. information and record clerks: 26,631
  4. Business operations specialists: 25,578
  5. Secretaries and admin assistants: 23,558

Fulton County's top 5 occupations:

2015

  1. information and record clerks: 51,957
  2. retail sales workers: 48,611
  3. computer occupations: 43,144
  4. food and beverage serving workers: 42,802
  5. business operations specialists: 39,574

2040

  1. information and record clerks: 60,164
  2. computer occupations: 59,175
  3. retail sales workers: 57,284
  4. food and beverage serving workers: 55,524
  5. business operations specialists: 52,398

Gwinnett County's top 5 occupations:

2015

  1. retail sales workers: 32,465
  2. information and record clerks: 19,092
  3. food and beverage serving workers: 18,465
  4. construction trades workers: 18,148
  5. material moving workers: 15,196

2040

  1. retail sales workers: 44,615
  2. construction trades workers: 37,473
  3. food and beverage serving workers: 27,286
  4. information and record clerks: 25,163
  5. computer occupations: 22,575

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