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Atlanta Economy Report | February 2021

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The Colliers Index and Atlanta Economy stays in the red this month; however, positive job numbers and continued vaccine rollouts spark optimism in Atlanta's economic outlook for 2021.

The Colliers Index stays at a 3 this month, but there is reason for optimism thanks to positive figures and continued vaccine rollout. Both nationally and locally there was an increase in jobs and a decrease in unemployment. Additionally, over 10% of Americans have been given at least the first dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine - that's over 44 million doses administered. If these trends continue in a positive direction; Atlanta's economic outlook for March 2021 will see the Colliers Index move out of the red to a 4.

Current Economic Conditions

National economic conditions remain mixed and industry-dependent, as the economic impacts of coronavirus on Atlanta and the country continue to be felt. The job market is relatively stalled, with weakness in sectors most disrupted by the pandemic such as restaurants, hospitality and travel. Other sectors such as healthcare and manufacturing have shown modest to no weakness. Payroll employment is down more than 6% from a year ago, while earnings of payroll workers have risen over 5% in the same timeframe. This reflects a loss of low-paying jobs rather than wage gains for existing workers. 

U.S. Employment

The U.S. gained 49,000 jobs in January after losing 227,000 jobs in December (revised down form an initial -140,000). While it is good to see this type of turnaround, most of the gain was due to the re-hiring of teachers: 119,000 jobs were added across the local, state and private education sectors.

Atlanta Employment

The Atlanta job market saw its eighth consecutive month of job growth, adding 25,100 jobs in December, bucking the national trend for the month. Atlanta is now down just over 70,000 jobs from this time last year. Compared to April 2020 when the coronavirus impact on Atlanta businesses was felt most and the metro area had lost over 278,000 jobs; year-over-year, this is a great improvement. If the fiscal and relief measures set to pass Congress have the positive impact on hiring intended, this year-over-year gap should continue to shrink.


Atlanta Economy Report | February 2021

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