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Construction near Cumberland Boulevard
Al Such / WABE

Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for last month was 5.5 percent, according to the state's Department of Labor.

That's the lowest it's been in nearly seven years, and that downward trend is expected to continue.

"Both state-wide and in metro Atlanta, we are adding jobs faster than the national pace. State-wide, you know, we’ve been among the 12 fastest growing states fairly consistently over the last several years,” says Dr. Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University.

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 22, 2014, file photo, United Airlines jets are parked on the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport, in Newark, N.J. All United Continental flights in the U.S. were grounded Wednesday morning, July 8, 2015, due to comp
Julio Cortez / Associated Press file

Reports from American Airlines and United Airlines show that air travel demand is growing modestly and there aren't many empty seats, but average fares continue to decline.

New government figures show that while fares are coming down, airlines are keeping most of the savings from cheaper jet fuel.

Citizens Trust has been a fixture on Auburn Avenue for decades, but it will soon call Peachtree Street home.

The bank was known for lending money to African-Americans who couldn’t borrow money from white-owned banks. 

And in the 1960s Auburn Avenue was called "the richest Negro street in the world."

That was when successful Atlanta builder Herman Russell became the bank’s largest shareholder and built a headquarters building at 75 Piedmont, giving the bank a piece of the skyline.

A Delta Airlines jet departs Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP Photo, File

Republican Rep. Bill Shuster wants a private company to take over the nation's air traffic control system.

Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, introduced a bill Wednesday that would end the Federal Aviation Administration's management of air traffic control and put a nonprofit corporation in its place.

He has the support of all major airlines in the U.S., with the exception of one: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

Andrew Kalat /

Cobb County wants to boost tourism advertising and have tourists foot the bill.

The proposal calls for charging an extra $3 per night at select hotels throughout the county.

That money would then be used to help promote tourism in Cobb County.

If approved, the idea is expected to raise about $5 million per year, and had been on the table long before the Atlanta Braves decided to move to Marietta.

Southwest Airlines plans to appeal a judge's order that lets Delta Air Lines continue operating at Dallas Love Field during a dispute over gates.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. on Tuesday filed notice that it will appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge in Dallas on Jan. 8 blocked efforts by Southwest to evict Delta from city-owned Love Field, saying Delta passengers could be inconvenienced by any move. Delta also serves Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Jacques Brinon / Associated Press

Coca-Cola, under pressure as many people look to cut back on sugary drinks, is unveiling a new global campaign that for the first time unites its flagship cola with lower-calorie versions.

The Atlanta company says the "Taste the Feeling" campaign will feature Coke as well as variations such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The effort replaces its "Open Happiness" campaign, which launched in 2009.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $980 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

The Atlanta-based company said it had net income of $1.25 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $1.18 per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.19 per share.

The airline posted revenue of $9.5 billion in the period.

Arnulfo Franco, File / Associated Press

A huge project to expand the Panama Canal, allowing larger ships to pass through it, should be completed later this year. And many of those ships are likely to eventually come to the Port of Savannah.

“We consider Savannah one of our key partners in this network, and your growth is our growth,” Francisco Miguez, an executive vice president with the Panama Canal Authority, told attendees at the SMC3 conference in Atlanta on Monday.

And Atlanta is part of that equation too, said Troels Adrian with the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Corey Leopold /

Heavy rains during the last part of 2015 are causing problems with Georgia's pecan harvest.

Georgia produces the most pecans in the country, where an average crop weighs in around 100 million pounds.

But the recent wet weather made it tough for Georgia  farmers to get to the crops, which left the pecans in soggy conditions for an extended period of time.

That could reduce the crop's final yield by as much as 20 percent.

Worse yet, this may result in smaller crops in the future.

Charles W. Jones / WABE

Georgia construction firms say they're optimistic that there will be plenty of business available this coming year, according to a survey from the Associated General Contractors of America. But they also say they're concerned about finding enough workers.

More than three-quarters of firms that responded to the survey said that they expect to add positions in 2016, but nearly as many said they're not sure they can find workers to fill them.

It’s a nationwide issue, said Stephen Sandherr, CEO of the contractors’ trade group.

Atlanta's main economic development agency is in need of a new leader.

Craig Richard announced his resignation as president and CEO of Invest Atlanta on Wednesday.

His last day will be Jan. 18. He was hired in November of 2014.

Invest Atlanta serves as a liaison between government entities and help smoothen public and private partnerships. Its main purpose is to boost Atlanta's economy.

The Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead includes hot desks and flexible lease options for technology startups.
Perry Winkle / Trevelino Keller

The Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead features an independent coffee shop, free beer on tap, video game consoles, nap rooms and some desks.

Office spaces like this go by many names: tech incubator, maker space, startup accelerator, hub, innovation center. Technology companies have been eager to put entrepreneurs, ping pong tables and tech support all in one building -- especially within the last five years. 

A look at some Georgia peaches. Will McGehee with Genuine Georgia Group, whose family has been in peaches for 5 generations, joins A Closer Look on Friday, September 25, 2015 to give an update on the peach industry in Georgia.
Courtesy of The Georgia Peach Council

Georgia's No. 1 agricultural crop is cotton, followed by timber, peanuts and blueberries.

The official state fruit, the peach, is also a big money-maker.

But an unusually warm winter is not ideal for many crops like peaches.

Georgia peach growers say they're concerned about whether they'll have enough this spring.

Duke Lane Jr., a former president of the Georgia Peach Council, said if the peaches are not exposed to at least 31 more days of temperatures below 45 degrees before February 2015, farmers could lose some of their crop.

Ted S. Warren, File / Associated Press

Americans have been doing more of their shopping by sitting at home ─ and they've been buying more items to sit on. And overall, spending during the holidays is up by nearly eight percent from a year ago.

According to a report released today, Americans spent more on items like furniture during the holidays this year, with online shopping in particular seeing a big spike. It was up by 20 percent. But shopping at physical stores still accounts for the majority of spending during the holidays.

Looking Forward To 2016: Georgia's Economy Trends

Dec 28, 2015
David Goldman / Associated Press

As 2016 approaches, we are asking WABE reporters what trends they plan to follow in 2016.

Reporter Tasnim Shamma says she will be watching Georgia's growing economy.

University of Georgia economists say Georgia's gross domestic product will grow at 3.5 percent, almost a full percentage higher than the nation’s average.

John Bazemore / AP Photo, File

Negotiations have restarted between Delta Air Lines and its pilots' union.

In July, pilots voted overwhelmingly against a tentative contract with the airline.

John Malone, who represents the union, said during the recession, pilots agreed to work more strenuous schedules, but they think it's time for that to end.

“What we're really looking for is just things that are related to how long a pilot's duty day is, fatigue related issues that center around safety, and things like that,” he said.  

Elly Yu / WABE

Relations between the United States and Cuba have been thawing over the past year. Earlier this month, the countries stuck a deal for regular flights between the two nations, and the United States reopened its embassy in Havana over the summer. But while much is still up to Congress to fully restore relations with the island country, Georgia lawmakers have been eyeing how better relations with Cuba would help the Peach State.

One area they’re looking at: chicken.

Steve Reeves Photography / © Rion Rizzo / Creative Sources Photography, Inc.

The Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport in Paulding County, also known as Silver Comet Field, wants to add commercial flights.

More than 300 people attended a public hearing earlier this month to discuss a recently published environmental assessment.

Opponents of the project released a statement that said they fear endangered species will be impacted.

Dan Raby / WABE

Delta Air Lines got passengers from Point A to Point B promptly in October.

According to the U.S. Transportation Department, Delta had an on-time arrival rate of 92.1 percent.

That led the list of major U.S. carriers that month.

The Obama administration is considering opening up parts of the Atlantic Ocean, from the Georgia coast up to Virginia, to offshore oil and gas drilling. 

But according to an environmental law group, the economic projections that supporters of Atlantic drilling cite are too good to be true. 

A new report said earlier estimates provided by the oil and gas industry overestimate the potential economic benefits of drilling in the Atlantic. 

This DC-9 was delivered new to North Central Airlines in 1978. Thanks to airline mergers, it was absorbed by Republic then Northwest.  In 2008, Delta inherited the aircraft when it merged with Northwest.
Jim Burress / WABE News


Delta Air Lines says it is banning hoverboards because of the potential fire danger from the lithium-ion batteries that power the devices.

Hoverboards are motorized, two-wheel, skateboard-sized scooters that users stand on. They have been a hot gift item at some retailers.

Delta's ban takes effect Friday. Passengers won't be allowed to pack a hoverboard in either checked luggage or a carry-on bag. Delta says some boards use batteries that exceed the wattage for batteries allowed on planes.

Commentary: Time For Region To Be MARTA Smart

Dec 4, 2015
Brenna Beech / WABE


Here we go again. Another year. Another transportation debate.

This time, Fulton County wants a five-year penny sales tax for transportation.

The idea is gaining steam among the mayors of the various Fulton cities who want new funding -- primarily for roads.

The exception is Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who wants funding to expand the city’s streetcar network -- especially along the Atlanta BeltLine.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Starting Friday, the ride-sharing company Uber will launch a service called uberPOOL, allowing passengers in Atlanta to carpool.

Technically, Uber is not yet welcome at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but the company is advertising it will allow carpools to and from the airport.

Four Locations  

Uber's general manager in Atlanta, Keith Radford, says uberPOOL will also initially be available in downtown, Midtown and Buckhead.  

Paul Sakuma, File / Associated Press

Shoppers spent more than $3 billion online this "Cyber Monday," making it the biggest online shopping day ever.

Research firm comScore said shopping by phone, laptop or tablet jumped 21 percent to $3.11 billion Monday.

The 10-year-old shopping holiday has lost some of its luster as retailers push sales forward on the calendar to Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Yet "Cyber Monday" has become engrained in the minds of enough shoppers, and it endures as the top online spending day of the year.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Starting Friday, the ride-sharing company Uber will offer carpooling service in Atlanta. 

For now, it's offering the service in downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Uber says customers will have to wait a little longer to get matched with someone traveling in the same direction, but the new service will save customers about 25 percent off the cost of a normal UberX ride. 

The carpooling service will be available during rush hour traffic during the week and on weekends. 

Don McCullough /

Amazon is giving new details on its Prime Air drone delivery program. But the timeline is still unclear.

The retailer says Prime Air will one day deliver packages up to 5 pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones.

The drones will fly under 400 feet and weigh less than 55 pounds, according to details posted on its website Sunday. It says it will use technology and automation to operate safely.

Ross D. Franklin / associated press file

Retailers are rolling out online deals today, the so-called "Cyber Monday."

But since shoppers these days are online all the time anyway, the shopping holiday is losing some of its luster. Still, Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day ever, with estimates that it will rack up over $3 billion in sales.

The head of the National Retail Federation, Matthew Shay, says, "It's no longer about one day but a season of digital deals."

The Iberian Pig in Decatur says it has always allowed dogs outdoors, but the new rules provide restaurants with safety guidelines.
MaiBri Photography

Georgia's Department of Public Health says dogs on leashes are now allowed in outdoor dining areas.

Many restaurants in Georgia already allow dogs, but the department says making it official will improve safety.

Laurie /

Shoppers no longer have to wait until Black Friday to cruise store aisles for holiday deals.

With online shopping available at any time of the day or night, many major retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Macy's are among the retailers whose brick-and-mortar stores will be open by 6 p.m.