9.2 percent of those employed in the region were in manufacturing jobs, up from 8.6 percent in 2011. Manufacturing is one sector economists look to as a barometer of a region’s fundamental economic health and long-term prospects.
67.3 percent of people 16 and older are in the labor force. That’s down from 68.1 percent in 2011 and 71.2 percent in 2008. Although that negative trend seems to contradict recent upbeat news on unemployment, the two actually fit together. According to economists, one reason the jobless rate is falling is that many people have left the labor force for good.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey
Note: All American Community Survey figures are estimates and subject to sampling error, but the trends cited are statistically significant, according to the Census Bureau. Figures are for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in 2012 encompassed 28 counties.