Education is one of the fastest-growing sectors for hiring in metro Atlanta, according to a study by Glassdoor. (AJC file photo)

Job growth possibly slowing in the nation, but not in Atlanta

Metro Atlanta outpaced the nation in both job opportunities and pay increases over the past year, according to Glassdoor.

The region had about 120,500 job openings listed last month, a 7.9 percent leap from the same time a year earlier.

Median pay in the area is now $54,829, slightly more than the national median and up 2.2 percent, the employment website said. The Bureau of Labor Statistics painted an even rosier picture, calculating a 3.1 percent growth in pay in Atlanta over the year. But, while Glassdoor counts only full-time workers, the BLS includes all employees as well as compensation like tips and bonuses.

Nationally, the job market may be leveling off after nine years of growth, with the number of openings falling slightly compared to the same period last year, according to the website’s analysis. Nearly 5.6 million jobs were listed last month, a decline of 0.4 percent.

Moreover, wage gains for Americans have fallen below the rate of inflation. Median pay for U.S. workers edged up 1.4 percent in the past year, compared with a 1.9 percent increase in the consumer price index, according to government data.

Last month, Atlanta had roughly 17,000 open jobs in health care and more than 12,500 in hospitality-related areas, according to Glassdoor. Openings in professional and business services are harder to pin down, but the sector has added about 11,000 jobs in the past year, according to government data.

In other areas, “job gains have been lackluster,” both locally and nationally, said economist Andrew Chamberlain of Glassdoor.

For example, the number of job listings in supermarkets dropped 27.8 percent, Chamberlain said. That’s a sign of a larger trend: the effect of e-commerce and consumers ordering groceries online. There’s a “rising investment in grocery delivery by Walmart and Amazon,” he said.

Banking, which has been roiled by mergers as well as the impact of the internet, saw a 21.7 percent drop in job openings.

Atlanta is faring better than the state as a whole, especially in terms of pay.

Average increases in pay overall in Georgia fell short of inflation, according to a report by the Urban Institute. The purchasing power of wages declined about 1 percent.

That puts Georgia 44th worst among the states, the report said.

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