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Prospects for Atlanta hiring still good, says jobs company

Among big cities, Atlanta ranks as the 18th best place to look for a new job, according to an online database.

As of last month, there were nearly 200,000 job openings in the region, giving job-seekers better odds than in many places, according to California-based Glassdoor.

But those seeker should proceed cautiously: Where the metro area comes up short is in the satisfaction that awaits in those positions.

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New Survey Reveals the Country's Top Cities to Find a Job

Atlanta ranks just 25th in job satisfaction. On a five-point scale, Atlanta jobs average a 3.4, slightly higher than “OK,” according to job reviews collected by Glassdoor.

Last month, the Georgia economy added 19,800 jobs, as the unemployment rate held even at 4.7 percent, according to the state Department of Labor. In the past year, the unemployment rate has edged down from 5.3 percent while the economy has added 116,500 jobs.

The lion’s share of positions have been in metro Atlanta.

While splashy announcements draw most of the attention – like the chance for a massive Amazon office – day to day, much of the growth in hiring is done by small firms.

For example, Arizona-base Infusionsoft is opening an office in Atlanta, according to Clate Mask, chief executive. The company, which helps small companies with sales and marketing, will fill up to 10 positions, mostly in sales, he said.

While jobless rate is low – especially compared to the double-digits of a few years ago – there are still 235,000 Georgians out of work and looking for a job, including about 147,000 of them in metro Atlanta. More troubling, nearly one-third of those people have been searching for more than six months, the Labor Department said.

A lot of them don’t have the skills that many employers need most.

For example, roughly 70 percent of construction firms report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

That means that many new jobs could be filled by training of people who are already residents instead of luring workers from elsewhere.

Some experts and employers say young people are simply not prepared for the workforce. One response to that is a job skills program announced last week by United Way and Generation, a non-profit spin-off founded by McKinsey & Co.

Of jobs that exist here, a handful have median starting pay in six figures. Among them are pharmacist ($118,039) and solutions architect ($112,498). Attorney just barely misses the cut, with a median base pay of $99,384 – a salary that has edged down in the past year.

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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 myAJC.com, including these stories:

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