The study published in June by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies shows the distribution of jobs and the resulting income divisions.
Across the state, 23 percent of workers are in jobs that pay more than $50,000 annually, and 33 percent are in jobs paying less than $30,000. Between those salary ranges are the rest of Georgia’s workforce.
In Fulton County, the division is essentially equal for the three pay ranges, but most counties tilt toward one end or the other.
In two counties, Schley and Wilkinson, more than half of their workers have jobs in the highest-paying category, but they are both rural.
Among the largest counties outside of metro Atlanta, only Muscogee has more than the state average in the high-earning positions with 24 percent. Chatham’s is 19, Bibb 18, Floyd 16, Glynn 11 and Clarke at 10 percent.
The report’s author, Zackary Hawley, who was then a research associate for the school’s Fiscal Research Center, used data from the Department of Labor that employers must file about jobs and wages. He also charted where in the state all of the jobs are.
“Employing over half a million jobs, the establishments within Fulton County hold the largest share of total state employment, 14.83 percent,” wrote Hawley. “Cobb, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties follow Fulton County as the next largest employment places. Rounding out the top five, Chatham County establishments employ approximately 100,000 employees or 2.7 percent of total state employment.”
Clarke County employs 1.52 percent of the state’s workforce, according to Hawley’s research. Most of Clarke County’s workforce, 60 percent, are middle-income earners. Just 10 percent make more than $50,000 annually while 30 percent make less than $30,000.
The 28 counties that comprise the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Atlanta employ 47.33 percent of the state’s total employment.