Savannah Port

Study: Georgia Ports Drive Atlanta Jobs

More than 156,000 jobs in the metro Atlanta region are tied to Georgia’s ports, according to a study released May 17 by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

During the 2011 fiscal year, companies across metro Atlanta shipped or received over 165,000 twenty-foot containers carrying goods valued at more than $8.6 billion. Exports accounted for nearly three-fourths of the total.

Fulton County led the state with $4.1 billion in goods traded through the Savannah and Brunswickports.

The study, titled “The Economic Impact of Georgia’s Deepwater Ports,” estimates that the ports support more than 350,000 full- and part-time jobs across the state, an increase of nearly 60,000 jobs since the last report in 2009.

Gov. Nathan Deal praised the ports as stimulators of economic growth.

“The research shows strong employment opportunities – linked directly or indirectly to the ports – exist in each of Georgia’s 159 counties,” Mr. Deal said in a news release. “The findings are a testament to the ports’ sustaining power to create jobs.”

Overall, Georgia ports contribute to approximately $66.9 billion to the state economy and provide 8.3 percent of total state employment, or one out of 12 jobs, the study found.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has lobbied for federal funding of a project that would deepen the Savannah Harbor, which officials say will spur additional growth and increased trade in both Georgia and across the region.

Photo Credit: Diane Moran
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