Agriculture may be the first industry that comes to mind when you think of Georgia, but the Peach State's commitment to workforce development and its solid job growth has earned it the title of America's Top State for Business in 2014 from business news network CNBC. An improved housing market and good infrastructure also contributed to Georgia's no. 1 ranking: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport was the busiest airport in the world for 16 years in a row as of 2014, and the port of Savannah had its busiest year ever in 2013.
Fiscal year 2013 also saw a 10 percent increase in new jobs in Georgia, two-thirds of which were generated by existing businesses and the rest by companies relocating to Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development (Georgia.org). American and international companies have taken notice of the advantages of locating their businesses in Georgia: A Georgia.org video boasts that 17 Fortune 500 and 31 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered there.
Where the jobs are
As of 2013, Georgia.org reported employment numbers that heavily favored service providers over goods-producing businesses and total private-sector employment over government jobs:
- Service-providing establishments, including utilities, trade and transportation, finance, education and health employed an average of 2,732,301 workers per month.
- Goods-producing establishments, including agriculture, mining, construction and manufacturing employed an average of 530,590 workers monthly.
- Federal, state and local government's employment figures averaged 640,049 monthly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), the following industry sectors added the highest percentage of new jobs since the end of 2013:
- Professional and business services
- Leisure and hospitality
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area employs the greatest concentration of workers in the state -- 2,553,000 as reported by BLS.gov for May 2014.
Hot jobs in the Peach State
The average worker in Georgia brought home $44,040 a year as of May 2013. If you are looking for the most promising jobs, the Georgia Department of Labor's list of hottest jobs in the state includes the following occupations, shown here with their average annual salaries as of May 2013 from BLS.gov and growth projections in Georgia through 2022 from ProjectionsCentral.com:
- Construction managers. $92,150, 20.8 percent growth
- Dental hygienists. $62,270, 48.3 percent growth
- Registered nurses. $61,630, 16.0 percent growth
- Paralegals and legal assistants. $53,880, 24.7 percent growth
- Respiratory therapists. $51,970, 10.9 percent growth
- Radiologic technologists and technicians. $51,430, 22.7 percent growth
- Computer user support specialists. $50,000, 28.0 percent growth
These occupations typically require a high school degree and postsecondary training, which for most of them is a two-year associate degree or less. Potential salaries and job openings for these careers far surpass the average for all occupations in the state. With a relatively short stint in school, you can reap the rewards of a solid career for many years.
Georgia vocational schools and the state's extensive network of technical colleges stand ready to provide you with the education for these and other good-paying, career-oriented occupations. Choosing an occupation for your personal growth that can also contribute to the state's economic growth is a win-win.
Annual Georgia industry mix 2013, Georgia Department of Labor, https://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/industrymix/
Economy at a Glance, Georgia, Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 15, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ga.htm
Fortune Favors the Peach, Georgia Department of Economic Development, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUa-XjUiw74
"Georgia is CNBC's Top State for Business in 2014," CNBC.com, Scott Cohn, June 24, 2014, http://www.cnbc.com/id/101767549
Georgia's Hot Careers to 2020, Georgia Department of Labor, http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/mis/current/hot_careers_current.pdf
Long-term occupational projections through 2022, Georgia, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
Occupational Employment Statistics, Georgia, May 2013, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
Technical College System of Georgia, https://kms.tcsg.edu/POA/tcsg/TCSGProgramOfferings.aspx?appitemid=405
"2013 Georgia Job Creation Hits Record High," Georgia Department of Economic Development, http://www.georgia.org/newsroom/press-releases/deal-2013-georgia-job-creation-hits-record-high/