Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jobs in Atlanta Give City Low Milken Ranking

The inability of the local economy to support more jobs in Atlanta contributed to the city's low placement on a new report.

The 2009 Milken Institute's annual list of best performing cities ranked the metro Atlanta area 106th in the nation. The report ranks cities based on how they are doing at creating and retaining jobs amid a challenging economy and evaluates such factors as job and salary growth and the strength of local high-tech industries.

Atlanta's latest ranking is a large decline from the city's 59th place ranking during 2008. The city's five-year job growth, from 2003 to 2008, came in 63rd place, while its five-year wages and salary growth, from 2002 to 2007, came in 110th place.

Atlanta's lower placement is not a big surprise, given the recent state of the local economy, which has continued to lose jobs as the unemployment rate increases.

During September, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta area saw its unemployment rate increase from 10.3 percent to 10.5 percent, which was higher than the national unemployment rate at the time of 9.8 percent.

The area had a total non-farm employment of 2,270,000 workers during September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 2,280,000 workers during August and a 5.9 percent decrease from last year.

Two other Georgia cities actually improved their placement on the Milken list. Savannah was ranked 39th, up from 24th place during 2008, while Augusta was ranked 82nd, up from 121st place last year.

Austin, Texas, was ranked first in the nation, followed by Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas; Houston, Texas; Durham, N.C.; Olympia, Wash.; Huntsville, Ala.; Lafayette, La.; and Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

"Regional economic factors also strongly influenced the rankings this year, with the oil and gas sector, technology and alternative energy providing stability among metros in Texas, North Carolina, Washington and Louisiana, which also benefited from low dependence on housing/construction," the report noted.

On the other end of the scale was Flint, Mich., which placed dead last, followed by Detroit, Mich. and Toledo, Ohio.

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