New reports reveal where the premium jobs are in Georgia

It’s no surprise that some metro Atlanta, Savannah and Columbus counties and municipalities top the list of Georgia places that hold the highest number of premium jobs – those that pay more than $50,000 a year. However, new research finds Georgia’s Wilkinson, Schley and Peach counties also at the top of the list for the percentage of premium jobs their establishments generate.

A new analysis of Georgia Department of Labor data conducted by the Fiscal Research Center of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University offers static snapshots of employment across the state in easy-to-read tables and maps, along with a brief report on findings.

Using the latest establishment-level data reported in the DOL’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, each policy brief provides information on the distribution, type and quality of jobs (weighted as premium, mid-range and low-paying) for every county and municipality in Georgia, and shows their total employment as a percent of the state total. FRC Research Associate Zackary Hawley authored the series.

“We hope this information will be useful to Georgia’s cities and counties as an economic development and planning tool,” says FRC Director Sally Wallace. “In the very simple tables we’ve provided, it’s fairly easy to see not only the industries that constitute major employers within each county and municipality, but also, in a general way, what these industry concentrations mean by way of the quality of jobs they provide.”

In “Jobs in Georgia’s Municipalities: Distribution, Type, and Quality of Jobs” (FRC Brief 246, June 2012), the top four industry employers in Georgia’s municipalities, statewide, are Wholesale and Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, Leisure and Hospitality, and Educational Services. The cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Columbus and Savannah rank at the top for the number of premium jobs their establishments support.

An example of how the jobs are weighed shows 30 percent of the jobs in Peachtree City pay a premium salary, 35 percent are mid-range (paying $35,000-$50,000) and 34 percent are low-paying (less than $35,000.) In Young Harris, the ratios are 40 percent – 20 percent – 38 percent.

“Jobs in Georgia’s Counties: Distribution, Type and Quality of Jobs” (FRC Brief 245, June 2012) reveals that the top industry employment leaders in Georgia’s counties parallel those in its municipalities. Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Chatham County top the state for number of premium jobs.

Download free copies of both policy briefs at