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Atlanta Economy Report | May 2021

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The Atlanta economy stays at a 4 for a third consecutive month as there continues to be a balance of good and bad news both locally and nationally.

The Atlanta economy and Colliers Index stays at a 4 for the third consecutive month. There continues to be a balance of good and bad news both locally and nationally.

Positive job growth and strong Q1 2021 GDP continue the positive momentum from the record-setting industrial real estate market absorption from Q1. However, hiring difficulties in key industries mirror the poor office market absorption numbers. 

The formula for continued growth at this moment is quite simple: as vaccinations increase, states will lessen restrictions and jobs will be added. Jobs are growing, but more stability and consistency will need to be seen to move the Colliers Index to a 5 or higher.

Atlanta economic outlook.

The Atlanta economic outlook and forecast continued to improve with a 14,800 jobs gain in March. Atlanta has now added 30,500 jobs since the start of the year. This is in line with typical job growth from the city during these months. Using February of 2020 as a pre-pandemic high water mark, Atlanta is now down 139,800 jobs from that point.

U.S. Employment

Leisure and hospitality has been the largest driving factor in the national employment bounce back. Pandemic-related restrictions have begun to ease in many parts of the country, and this has correlated with a surge in leisure and hospitality jobs.

331,000 such jobs were added in April, following a 280,000 figure in March and a 355,000 tally in February. More than half of April's increase was in food services and drinking places, which added 187,000 jobs.

There is still room for growth in this sector, as many states have yet to fully ease COVID-19 restrictions. The unemployment rate for the "accommodation and food services" industry remains high. After peaking at 37.3% unemployment in April 2020, the rate currently sits at 10.7%, still a ways off from the 5.9% figure seen in February of 2020.

Atlanta's Labor Shortage

Atlanta area restaurants are now facing a new challenge: Finding labor. According to the Georgia Restaurant Association, 78% of members say they have job openings they are struggling to fill. A combination of a lack of  childcare options, fear for personal safety and raised unemployment benefits have left many at home. As consumer demand increases, staffing has not quite caught up.

Download the full report to learn about the economic data contributing to the Atlanta economic outlook for April including:

  • Interest rates
  • Employment statistics
  • Unemployment rates
  • GDP
  • Oil
  • Real estate development


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Atlanta Economy Report | May 2021

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