Metro Atlanta's rebound attracting new residents

Metro Atlanta has added more than 164,000 residents since 2010, months after the official end of the Great Recession, according to new figures from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The group, which keeps track of regional economic growth, said the 4 percent population growth, while not as robust as the previous decade, is another sign that metro Atlanta’s economy is strengthening with the prospect of new jobs attracting more newcomers.

Construction crews are in high gear on major projects, including two stadiums, and corporations are regularly announcing plans to either 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 update on local unemployment will arrive Thursday from the state Labor Department.

On Monday, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Georgia has the second-highest jobless rate in the nation.

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.
  • • Fulton County added the most residents, 12,700, an increase of 1.3 percent for the area's largest county.
  • • The ARC said metro Atlanta was the 7th fastest-growing region in the U.S. over the period.