- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Metro Atlanta boosters are hoping a recruiting effort at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, helps them to lure young professionals to Georgia.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber, through its new ChooseATL marketing campaign, plans a two-day sales pitch next week at the festival.

The flashy effort at the music, film and technology gathering comes amid troubling signs that metro Atlanta has lost some luster with young professionals in recent years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (bit.ly/1TyouOr).

ChooseATL will rent the three-floor Speakeasy lounge on Austin’s Congress Avenue and load it with headliners such as rapper Killer Mike and an event on Georgia’s burgeoning television and film industry with an executive from the hit series The Walking Dead, the newspaper reported.

This campaign is about recruiting creative people, chamber CEO Hala Moddelmog said recently.

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and it’s the best-educated, most diverse and most mobile generation in American history.

“The competition is stiffer and (millennials) are a mobile group,” she said.

In 2000, metro Atlanta ranked third in the percentage of its population aged 25 to 34, according to data from the Atlanta Regional Commission. By last year it was 12th. Austin - dotted with “Keep Austin Weird” signs - remained No. 1 during that time.

Mike Carnathan, a demographer at the ARC, said no major metro studied gained in overall share of the 25 to 34 population from 2000 to 2015, but Atlanta saw a sharper decline than others.

Carnathan said this has much to do with the Great Recession, which slowed mobility.

Before, he said, “It was easy to quit your job in a more expensive metro area, get a similar job in a less expensive metro area and you just sort of cash out. What the Great Recession did was reset all of that.”

Atlanta’s economy sank lower than many metro areas after the downturn and has taken longer to recover, Carnathan said, though he added it is gaining momentum again.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com

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