Metro Atlanta growing, but more slowly

Metro Atlanta has added more than 164,000 residents since 2010, pushing the 10-county population to 4.27 million, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The 4 percent population growth over that time, while not as robust as in the previous decade, is another sign that metro Atlanta’s economy is strengthening and the prospect of new jobs is attracting more newcomers, the ARC said.

Construction crews are working on major projects, including two stadiums, and several corporations plan to build or expand operations in North Georgia.

Newcomers, however, are also finding headwinds, including a stubborn unemployment rate and rising home prices.

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in June, the most recent figure available, is down from 8.6 percent a year ago, but is stubbornly higher than the national rate. An updated metro unemployment figure is due Thursday from the state Labor Department.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week Georgia has the second-highest jobless rate in the nation, at 7.8 percent.

Among other highlights in the ARC report:

• Metro Atlanta added about 52,700 people between April 1, 2013, and April 1, 2014.

• Gwinnett County saw the biggest gain in residents, 1.9 percent, or 11,900 in that 1-year period.

• Fulton County, including the city of Atlanta, added the most residents, 12,700, an increase of 1.3 percent for the area’s largest county.