Atlanta's economy and the Colliers Index started 2021 in the red, remaining at a 3 for the month of January.
The Colliers Index remains at a 3 to start the year. COVID-19 continues to surge across the country as local economies struggle to stay afloat in the face of continued shutdowns. Locally, in the final quarter of 2020, Atlanta's office market suffered occupancy losses of almost 2 million square feet. Atlanta's economic outlook for 2021 and beyond has room for optimism, however, as Atlanta has continued to add jobs, chipping away at the losses from earlier in 2020. A national vaccine rollout - hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling economy - has begun and will continue into the summer of this year.
State of Atlanta's Economy Today
The winter months have always led to fluctuating job conditions, with seasonal labor moving in and out of the workforce. This instability, combined with market effects and job losses (temporary and permanent) due to COVID-19 - and not to mention, a new President - has yet again produced an uncertain economic outlook for Atlanta and the country.
There is another stimulus on the horizon as the job gains we saw in mid-2020 have begun to slow. Surviving the start to 2021 and continuing positive momentum for the local and national economies is a big step on the path to recovery.
U.S. jobs decreased by 140,000 for the month of December, while national unemployment remained at 6.7%. Among those unemployed, the number of people on temporary layoff increased from 277,000 to 3 million. The number of permanent job losers did decline by 348,000 to 3.4 million.
Atlanta's economy saw its seventh consecutive month of job gains, adding 21,000 in November. Still down over 80,000 jobs from this time last year, that number has been dropping monthly from the 287,800 year-over-year differential in April of 2020. The local unemployment rate did rise to 5.6% from 4.7%. This rise is best attributed to temporary layoffs due to a spike in COVID cases and its economic impact on Atlanta.