By: David C. Smith, Senior Director of Occupier Research, Americas
Atlanta, located at the crossroads of the Southeast, has always been a critical connection point for people and commerce, dating back to its inception at Terminus where five railroads came together. This remains true as the world of retail becomes more and more centered around eCommerce with online sales increasing year-over-year. The transportation of goods is a major part of the Atlanta economy, with over 200,000 people involved in Transportation and Material Moving Occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accounting for 8.4 percent of all jobs in the Atlanta MSA. Among those, over 68,000 employees are categorized as moving freight, stock, and material by hand. That is the second most common BLS detailed occupation in Atlanta behind only the position of a retail salesperson.
In addition to the many pick-and-pack employees needed, employers have been increasing their real estate footprints to handle the increased number of shipments that need to go to customers in Atlanta and through the Southeast. Over the last two years, Atlanta has been the fourth largest creator of new warehouse / distribution space in the United States with 23.4 MSF of new construction. Even with all of that new product, vacancy still remains well below historical averages.
A recent Cushman & Wakefield MarketNote highlights the connection between warehouse / distribution space and employment both for Atlanta and across other major U.S. industrial hubs. To read and download the MarketNote, click here.