The Great Migration brought thousands to Texas — here’s where they came from

The pandemic sparked a Great Migration that put millions of Americans — and considerable wealth — on the move, and Texas had the second-highest amount of new citizens calling the Lone Star state home.

New data from the American Community Survey shows Texas added just over 668,000 new residents with a net migration over 174,000.

Texas added the most new residents from California (102,442), while it lost the most residents (42,279) to the Golden State. Texans also moved to Florida in droves, with over 38,000 residents moving to the southwest.

Austin has long been a popular destination for Bay Area companies and their employees. But the city became especially hot during the pandemic, scoring some big wins at the Bay Area’s expense. Both Tesla Inc. and Oracle Corp. moved their headquarters to the Texas capital in recent years, following a stampede of California tech workers to the region, making Austin the nation’s 10th largest city today.

And while California is the state that funnels more people here than any other, the vast majority of new Central Texans come from other parts of Texas. Austin Business Journal

Atlanta job growth strong in October to start holiday season

Metro Atlanta outdid the rest of the state in job growth in October, a sign that despite the pressures on consumers and companies alike, holiday spending in the region started strong, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The region added 23,500 jobs last month, 84% of the state’s expansion, the department said.

October is historically a month in which holiday hiring gets traction and metro Atlanta was true to that pattern. Growth was most robust in sectors affected by seasonal spending and the movement, storage and delivery of goods — transportation, warehousing, retail and hospitality.

Metro Atlanta has added 64,900 jobs during the past 12 months and 180,000 jobs in the past two years, 71% of the state’s growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Atlanta Journal Constitution

How population and job growth is impacting Atlanta, as migration continues to favor the Sunbelt

Several trends at play right now in the metro Atlanta are shaping the city’s present and future. Among them? Continued growth, both in population and in jobs.

Population growth has become a competitive advantage for Atlanta, as migration continues to favor the Sunbelt, according to JLL research. The U.S. population grew by 0.4% in 2022, driven mainly by positive net international migration.

Sunbelt markets have become increasingly attractive in recent years, as evidenced by the relative strength of their population growth. In 2022, Georgia was ranked No. 4 for population growth in the country, increasing at a rate that was double the prior year and benefitting from positive in-migration from home and abroad.

As the workforce ages and birth rates slow, competition from an ever-shrinking talent pool will continue to be fierce, and population growth will remain a critical advantage. Georgia’s homegrown talent, nurtured by the state’s extensive higher education network and coupled with strong in-migration, makes for a potent combination. Businesses follow the talent, and the talent is here.

According to JLL research, Atlanta ranks No. 7 across the U.S. when it comes to jobs growth led by office-using occupations. Atlanta added 237,200 jobs in the last two years, an 8.4% gain overall, with all sectors recording growth. Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study: Hyundai plant brings jobs and labor worries for Savannah

SAVANNAH — Every drive past the under-construction Hyundai electric vehicle factory makes Trip Tollison equal parts excited and nervous.

Excited because the Hyundai Metaplant, the largest economic development project in Georgia history, and its suppliers will add an estimated 15,000 jobs to the region.

Nervous because Savannah and the surrounding area don’t have 15,000 workers to spare.

Tollison heads the Savannah Joint Development Authority (JDA), a coalition of four county economic development authorities and the group that partnered with the state to woo Hyundai to the nearly 3,000-acre site along Interstate 16 near Ellabell, about 30 miles west of Savannah. Not long after Hyundai signed on to build the electric vehicle and battery plant in May 2022 did Tollison — along with many other area government, business and educational officials — begin to express concerns about the Metaplant’s impact on the local labor force. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Hyundai to raise wages 25%, hoping to head off union efforts

Hyundai Motor Group said Monday it will hike wages for its U.S. manufacturing workers, the third non-union competitor to raise pay in the wake of last month’s landmark union deal with the “Big Three” Detroit automakers.

The South Korea-based company, which said it is investing $12.6 billion to build vehicle and battery plants in Georgia, announced a new wage structure Monday that will mean a 25% wage hike in the next four years.

The bump in pay will apply in Hyundai’s Bryan County plant, which is scheduled to start production in early 2025, the first of the company’s facilities dedicated to making electric vehicles. The pay hike also applies to Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama, which has been churning out vehicles since 2005.

Hyundai’s Kia subsidiary has been making vehicles in West Point since November 2009. Monday’s announcement did not include that facility, which has about 2,700 employees, according to state officials.

Hyundai follows Toyota and Honda, which also announced wage hikes in the weeks after the United Auto Workers reached historic agreements with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, the parent of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep. American workers at Hyundai, like those at Honda and Toyota, are not represented by unions. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Hyundai Motor America to Raise Alabama, Georgia Employees’ Hourly Wages

Hyundai Motor America will raise certain U.S. employees’ hourly wages next year.

The auto manufacturer said the new wage structure starting in January for its production team members at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America in Georgia will result in hourly wages increasing 25% by 2028.

There are about 4,000 production team members at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, the company said.

The pending changes come as other automakers have boosted pay following recent labor strikes. The Wall Street Journal

SK Battery to furlough workers at Jackson County, Ga. plant, cut production

SK Battery America will furlough many of the workers at its massive Jackson County plant as part of efforts to cut production to match the sagging demand for electric vehicles, company officials confirmed Friday.

The move is temporary and will not shut down the huge plant, according to a spokesman for the South Korea-owned company.

“SK Battery America will not be stopping production,” said Joe Guy Collier. “We made the decision as a part of our efforts to optimize line operations and workforce management with flexibility as the EV industry is adjusting its pace of growth.

He declined to say how many people will be out of work or for how long the furlough will last.

However, the long-term market for electric vehicles and the batteries that will power them is not in question, and neither is the company’s much-hyped local presence, Collier said.

“SK Battery America remains committed to the Georgia site and optimistic about the long-term growth of the U.S. EV market. We believe our Georgia site will play a leading role for years to come in making batteries for American-built EVs.”

In late September, the company confirmed layoffs at the 3,000-worker plant. A few months prior to that, officials said hiring had exceeded the company’s previously stated goal of 2,600 employees. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Toyota subsidiary to expand North Georgia campus, hire 250 new workers

A subsidiary of Toyota broke ground Tuesday on a new manufacturing facility about 90 minutes northeast of downtown Atlanta, which will expand the automaker’s existing campus by 250 employees.

Toyota Industries Electric Systems North America (TIESNA), a maker of air conditioning compressors and other vehicle electronics, said it is making a $69 million investment in Pendergrass in the new facility. The Japanese company will join the existing Toyota Industries campus that’s been in the small North Georgia city since 2004. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Report: Georgia big winner in clean energy jobs

Georgia is a leading beneficiary of new clean energy projects that have promised to bring more than 19,000 jobs to the state and create more than 200,000 jobs across the country, according to a report released last week by Climate Power, an advocacy organization.

The report found Georgia was second only to Michigan with the number of new or expanded clean energy projects announced since August, 2022, when President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Democrats’ sprawling health care and climate law included billions of dollars in tax credits for the private sector to transition away from fossil fuels. It was passed at a time when Georgia was already starting to establish itself as a major manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and batteries.

Since then, even more investments have been announced. Hyundai Motor Group and its suppliers are planning to spend more than $14 billion in the state, while solar manufacturer Qcells announced a $2.5 billion expansion of its facilities in northwest Georgia. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Rivian closes 1,800-acre Georgia land deal for $5B EV factory

Electric vehicle startup Rivian officially closed on a complicated land agreement Thursday to gain access to a 1,800-acre megasite an hour east of Atlanta, allowing the automaker to soon begin vertical construction on its planned $5 billion factory.

The Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties (JDA) approved multiple resolutions earlier this week to finalize the lease agreement, issue bonds related to the project’s property tax financing and prepare to turn over the site to the California-based upstart. The authority owns the site within the Stanton Springs industrial park but will rent it to Rivian for 50 years for its 16 million-square-foot EV plant.

The closing is a milestone for Georgia’s second-largest economic development project, which is poised to cement the Peach State as a national leader for EV manufacturing and battery production.

“It’s a great day in Georgia as we close and issue the bonds for the Rivian project,” the JDA and Georgia Department of Economic Development said in a joint statement. “Rivian is the next step in delivering this generational opportunity, and Georgians in Jasper, Morgan, Newton, and Walton counties and beyond look forward to $5 billion in investment and 7,500 good-paying jobs that this innovative, American manufacturing company will bring.” Atlanta Journal Constitution