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Atlanta Industrial Labor Update

Christa DiLalo • 11/13/2022
Demand for industrial space has risen to record-breaking heights in the Southeast, emphasizing the need both for adequate physical space and for skilled and affordable labor. Our recent Southeast Industrial Labor Report examined the interplay between the supply and demand for industrial labor in the Warehouse and Manufacturing sectors and the supply as well as demand for industrial space. 

The population of the Southeast has grown substantially over the past decade to 36.3 million residents. The region will continue to experience some of the most pronounced growth in the nation with a projected 5.5% population change over the next five years, well beyond the national rate of 3.5%. 

Atlanta is one of the largest metros in the Southeast with a population of 6.4 million and a labor force 3.4 million strong. Population growth of 4.8% is expected to exceed the national average of 3.5% over the next five years. 

To support this increased population, the region has also experienced an industrial boom to meet the growing demand of the populace. A plethora of industries have located to and expanded in the Southeast, driven by a surge in manufacturing, e-commerce, and 3PL businesses. 

Atlanta’s industrial market has grown substantially in recent years in tandem with the metro’s explosive population growth. More than 115.6 msf of new product has delivered since the start of 2017, No. 2 in the country behind only Dallas/Ft. Worth. Despite this, demand outpaced supply during that time as absorption exceeded 145.2 msf. This put downward pressure on industrial vacancy, which fell to a historical low of 2.7% in mid-2022.  

The labor pool has increased in tandem with the rise in industrial businesses. Southeast markets have a higher concentration of the sector’s target blue collar demographic than the nation as a whole, and Atlanta has a target blue collar demographic volume of 484,282. 

Warehouse wages in the Southeast index above the national average, while the average wages for production workers is on par with the U.S. Wages for industrial workers in Atlanta are higher than the U.S. average, making the metro an attractive option for workers in persistently tight national labor market. 

Click here to read and download the Southeast Industrial Labor Report. 
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