PNC Report Says Atlanta's Smaller Businesses Slow to Hire

Apr 4, 2013

The most recent data from the Georgia Department of Labor shows Atlanta's overall unemployment rate is falling.

Credit PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

However, the spring 2013 report from PNC Financial Services Group shows only 14% of small-to-midsize businesses in Atlanta say they plan on hiring full-time staffers between now and September.

That's less than half of the total added at this time last year.

Those involved with the research say companies with smaller payrolls are usually more cautious during tough times.

"If some unforeseen event happens and the economy goes south, you don't have to lay off that computer.  So I think firms are playing it safe and focusing more on doing more with what they already have," says PNC economist Mekael Teshome.

But, he says there is room for optimism toward the end of this year and 2014, because the factors that have hurt those same smaller companies are being corrected, locally and nationally.

"The housing market is rebalancing.  Consumers have made considerable progress in saving and paying down debt.  There is real improvement in the real economy, so that will keep us moving forward."

According to the state Department of Labor, Georgia's unemployment rate is 8.6%.  That's higher than the national average, which is 7.7%