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Business


UPDATE: Metro Atlanta housing basics good, prices up, but listings are down

In the past year, the metro Atlanta housing market has kept moving forward by most measures – but the exceptions are enough to give pause. For sure, the median prices of homes sold has continued to rise, steadily if not spectacularly, by nearly all surveys. According to Re/Max Georgia, for example, the median Atlanta home price last month was $222,130 – up 6 percent from a year before...
10 college majors that earn the least

10 college majors that earn the least

You may be familiar with the college majors that could place you among the highest-earning college graduates, but do you know about the ones with the lowest-earning potential? U.S. News created a list of the 10 college majors that paid the least, based on salary data from PayScale.com, and many education majors topped the list. "The trend that we see in the bottom majors in terms...
Environmentalists: Georgia sued over outdated power plant permits

Environmentalists: Georgia sued over outdated power plant permits

State regulators have endangered Georgia’s drinking water and rivers by failing to re-examine outdated permits at five of Georgia Power’s coal-fired power plant, environmental groups said in a lawsuit filed Thursday. The original wastewater permits at some of the plants expired more than a decade ago and haven’t been updated to comply with tougher federal water pollution limits that...
‘Trump bump’ delivers stock gains for Georgia companies

‘Trump bump’ delivers stock gains for Georgia companies

Most of Georgia’s largest public companies did their bit to make investors richer last year, but President-elect Donald Trump could claim some of the credit. If you had invested $1,000 in each of Georgia’s 16 Fortune 500 companies — which ranks the nation’s largest public firms by revenues — you’d have had $18,544 at the end of 2016, or a return of 15.9 percent...
Money-making with Trump index, Wall Streeter says (joking?)

Money-making with Trump index, Wall Streeter says (joking?)

This is going to make index investing great again, writes Barry Ritholtz. There’s a long tradition of using an index as a tool: it spreads risk at the same time it can add together similar kinds of companies, it protects you from one company’s bad luck and saves you from the need to constantly fine tune. And Ritholtz says in a piece on Bloomberg that now is the time to combine indexing...
Casinos in Georgia could be burden on local governments, study says

Casinos in Georgia could be burden on local governments, study says

Casino gambling could give state tax revenue a giant boost, but it would also generate new public safety, infrastructure and social costs for cities and counties, a study commissioned by a downtown Atlanta business group says. Central Atlanta Progress leaders on Wednesday presented the second of a two-part study on the potential effect of legalized casinos, a topic that could be fiercely debated again...
Men surge past women in hiring as jobs trend reverses

Men surge past women in hiring as jobs trend reverses

During the worst of Great Recession, the pain of layoffs fell disproportionately on men. But of late, the gender-hiring tide has turned. Not that virtually all demographics did not suffer during the downturn, but many of the most savage cuts came in factories and other male-heavy sectors tied to manufacturing, construction, financial services and some real estate-related businesses. For example, ...
Kempner: A new tax break for golf clubs and fitness classes?

Kempner: A new tax break for golf clubs and fitness classes?

Our folks in Washington want to pay Americans to sweat (or do something that at least has the potential to create sweat). Planning to buy a new golf putter? Ka-ching! That could be a tax write-off. So could paying for a fitness club membership, registering for a road race, signing the kids up for a baseball travel team, hiring a yoga instructor and participating in bunches of other activities. In...
Will rising rates hurt or help housing market?

Will rising rates hurt or help housing market?

Rising interest rates didn’t keep Sarah Oliver and her husband from buying a $175,500 house close to Lake Allatoona. But that was in late November, when they could still got a mortgage loan with an interest just under 4 percent. Now rates are well above 4 percent, and expected to keep climbing in 2017. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do more than 4 percent – no, that’s not...
Trump hope fuels momentum for Georgia construction jobs to grow in 2017

Trump hope fuels momentum for Georgia construction jobs to grow in 2017

Contractors expect this to be a good year for construction with robust demand for building in both public and private sectors and Georgia will rise with the tide, according to participants in an industry conference. Optimism about a new Republican administration mixes with a bullish outlook in general on the economy. The incoming Trump Administration can boost an already solid economy by promoting...
Lane closures resume for airport curbside revamp

Lane closures resume for airport curbside revamp

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is resuming roadwork for the construction of massive canopies over the curbside roadways outside the domestic terminal — and that means lane closures. The Atlanta airport put the roadwork on hold during the holidays but has since resumed the work. Motorists should allow extra time to pick up or drop off passengers, and should watch for police officers...
Atlanta firm says “election jitters” slow sales; stock falls 15%

Atlanta firm says “election jitters” slow sales; stock falls 15%

Acuity Brands’ shares fell almost 15 percent Monday after the Atlanta company reported a slowdown in demand for its lighting products. Acuity’s stock had been soaring as it has become one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of LED lighting fixtures. Over the past five years, its shares had risen more than five-fold, to about $280 a share last August. But the company gave up much...
Re/Max: Metro home prices rise 6 percent

Re/Max: Metro home prices rise 6 percent

The median metro Atlanta home price last month was $222,130 – up 6 percent from a year before, according to Re/Max of Georgia. The most active city in the region was Atlanta, where there were 477 homes sold, Re/Max said, while Marietta placed second with 281 sales. The highest median price was in Cumming: $315,000. It was “a remarkably strong fall season,” said Jeanette Schneider...
Atlanta home sales up in December (Cumming highest priced)

Atlanta home sales up in December (Cumming highest priced)

The median Atlanta home price last month was $222,130 – up 6 percent from a year before, according to a report from Re/Max of Georgia. The most active city was Atlanta, where there were 477 homes sold, Re/Max said, while Marietta placed second with 281 sales. The highest median price of a sale, however, was in Cumming: $315,000. It was, “a remarkably strong fall season,” said Jeanette...
Georgia Power: Power restored to 50,000-plus customers after storm

Georgia Power: Power restored to 50,000-plus customers after storm

A combination of freezing rain and gusting winds walloped much of the state this weekend, causing power outages for tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Georgia Power said it restored power to more than 50,000 customers after freezing rain and snow swept through the area Friday night. The Atlanta utility appeared to be well on the way to restoring power to other affected customers after gusty...
Kempner: Snow and ice? Meet the salt guy

Kempner: Snow and ice? Meet the salt guy

With snow and maybe ice heading toward metro Atlanta, a road salt salesman should be melting under the pressure. “You would think it would drive us crazy,” said Les Brown, the owner of Georgia-Carolina Salt. Yet he had plenty of time to chat about the intricacies of salt for deicing. He fielded a couple last-minute order pickups from government road departments. But there was no tidal...
City Springs taking shape in Sandy Springs

City Springs taking shape in Sandy Springs

Sandy Springs’ new muncipal complex and city center is taking shape. On Friday, the city and its development team showed off progress at the site and held a ceremony marking the installation of the highest structural piece or “topping out” of the project. City Springs includes a new city hall, 1,100-seat performing arts center, office space for city departments and private sector...
Sandy Springs ‘tops out’ new City Springs project

Sandy Springs ‘tops out’ new City Springs project

The city of Sandy Springs’ new municipal complex has reached its zenith. Hours before a winter storm barreled into metro Atlanta on Friday, the North Fulton city celebrated the “topping out” of the new City Springs development with a ceremony marking installation of the tallest structural component in the $100 million project. City Springs includes a new city hall, 1,100-seat performing...
Offices empty early, focus shifts to Monday

Offices empty early, focus shifts to Monday

Bosses around metro Atlanta sent office workers home early and anxiously watched forecasts to decide whether to change store hours as the winter storm closed in on the region. Some restaurants and smaller merchants closed early Friday, following the lead of local school systems and governments. In Alpharetta, the Avalon mixed-use development was still open for normal business hours Friday as the first...
Storm affected more than 36,000 customers; Georgia Power catching up

Storm affected more than 36,000 customers; Georgia Power catching up

A combination of freezing rain and gusting winds walloped much of the state this weekend, causing power outages for tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Georgia Power said it restored power to more than 50,000 customers after freezing rain and snow swept through the area Friday night. The Atlanta utility appeared to be well on the way to restoring power to other affected customers after gusty...
Georgia State, partners close deal for Turner Field

Georgia State, partners close deal for Turner Field

A little more than three years after the Atlanta Braves announced plans to move to Cobb County, and a few days after the team formally left Turner Field, their old home has a new owner. Georgia State University and a private development team closed Thursday on their $30 million purchase of the ballpark and surrounding parking lots, completing the long-simmering deal and marking a new era for The Ted...
Atlanta’s job outlook — best if you’re a techie (or a pilot)

Atlanta’s job outlook — best if you’re a techie (or a pilot)

According to several new rankings, Atlanta looks to be a good, if not spectacular city for jobseekers in 2017. And if you are a young person taking your first run at the job market, you’d be well advised to show up with some engineering and tech expertise on your resume – or maybe a pilot’s license. Of the top ten jobs for new grads in Georgia – ranked by salary – nine...
UPDATE: Delta Air Lines’ new CEO navigates through challenges

UPDATE: Delta Air Lines’ new CEO navigates through challenges

2016 was a milestone year for Delta Air Lines and for Ed Bastian, who stepped into the CEO position at the company last year. In the eight months since, Bastian has already tackled some big challenges. He succeeds Richard Anderson, who retired from the CEO position at Delta effective May 2. Anderson remained executive chairman of the company’s board of directors for only about five months before...
Lawsuit alleges Coca-Cola covered up soft drink health threats

Lawsuit alleges Coca-Cola covered up soft drink health threats

Coca-Cola and an industry group face accusations in a federal lawsuit filed by advocacy groups that they tried to cover up links between drinking sugary beverages and harmful health effects such as obesity and diabetes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Praxis Project, a nonprofit group, sued the Atlanta beverage company and the American Beverage Association this week in the federal...
Turner Field officially belongs to Georgia State and development team

Turner Field officially belongs to Georgia State and development team

A little more than three years after the Atlanta Braves announced their plan to relocate to Cobb County, and a few days after the team formally moved out of Turner Field, their old home has a new owner. Georgia State University and a private development team officially closed Thursday on their $30 million purchase of the ballpark and surrounding parking lots, completing the long-simmering deal and...
Kempner: How Georgia officials pantsed you over the holidays

Kempner: How Georgia officials pantsed you over the holidays

Now that you’ve dug out of the long holiday/shopping season, here’s a quick summary of what elected state officials did while you were distracted: They pantsed you. The Georgia Public Service Commission — a body of five officials that most voters don’t even realize exists — yanked Georgia consumers’ pants down to their ankles. One thing they exposed in the...
This year's National Returns Day will be the biggest yet, UPS says

This year's National Returns Day will be the biggest yet, UPS says

Sending back that cheesy holiday tie or questionable "As Seen on TV" gadget you got for Christmas? You're in good company.
Lawsuit alleges Coca-Cola covered up soft drink health threats

Lawsuit alleges Coca-Cola covered up soft drink health threats

Coca-Cola and an industry group face accusations in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that they tried to cover up links between drinking sugary beverages and harmful health effects such as obesity and diabetes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Praxis Project, a nonprofit group, sued the Atlanta beverage company and the American Beverage Association in the federal district court...
These two Georgia companies ranked among top 10 for best work-life balance

These two Georgia companies ranked among top 10 for best work-life balance

Get a life! There really are Atlanta companies that want you to do that, as proven by the inclusion of Spanx and IgnitionOne's on The Muse's list of "18 companies with unbelievable work-life balance."The Muse canvassed the country looking for workplaces delivering the most balance-friendly policies and environments. Flexible schedules, unlimited vacation and karaoke nights were just...
Athenahealth plans big tech jobs expansion at Ponce City Market

Athenahealth plans big tech jobs expansion at Ponce City Market

Athenahealth, a health care technology company that was in the vanguard of tech firms that moved in-town from metro Atlanta suburbs, said Wednesday it will nearly double its workforce in the city. The Massachusetts-based IT company plans to grow to about 1,000 workers by 2018 at the hulking former Sears Roebuck & Co. complex along the Beltline, according to a news release Wednesday from Gov. Nathan...
Top 10 jobs and industries with the biggest bonuses in 2016

Top 10 jobs and industries with the biggest bonuses in 2016

It's end of year bonus time! If yours isn't all you'd like, check out LinkedIn's list of the top 10 jobs and industries with the highest bonuses. LinkedIn, the online professional network, based its findings on the LinkedIn salary tool. It only considered job titles for the list when it had collected at least 40 salary reports for that job that included annual bonus pay. To identify...
Underground Atlanta sale delayed again

Underground Atlanta sale delayed again

A South Carolina development firm said Wednesday it will miss a deadline this week to wrap up its purchase of Underground Atlanta, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed appeared to set an ultimatum to finish the deal by the end of the month. Kevin Rogers, an executive at WRS Real Estate Investments, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution his firm won’t meet the closing set for Thursday. He also said both...
UPDATED: Underground Atlanta sale to be delayed again

UPDATED: Underground Atlanta sale to be delayed again

The pending sale of Underground Atlanta to a South Carolina developer will be delayed again, people familiar with the matter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The planned closing had been slated for Thursday after being moved from last week. It’s unclear how long the delay might last. An executive with Underground buyer WRS Real Estate Investments said the firm plans to hold a community...
Equifax to pay fine, refunds for credit report sales

Equifax to pay fine, refunds for credit report sales

A federal agency ordered Atlanta-based Equifax and another credit reporting company, TransUnion, to pay more than $23 million in fines and restitution for allegedly misleading customers about credit score services they have marketed. The two companies, which are among the nation’s Big Three credit agencies, misled consumers on the cost and value of credit score services sold from 2011 to 2014...
Athenahealth to expand at Ponce City Market

Athenahealth to expand at Ponce City Market

Health care technology company Athenahealth plans to expand its operations at Ponce City Market in a move that will nearly double its workforce in Atlanta. In a news release Wednesday from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, the company said it would grow to about 1,000 workers at the hulking former Sears Roebuck & Co. complex along the Beltline by 2018. The company was one on the initial corporate tenants...
Fed agency: Equifax must pay fine, restitution for tricking customers

Fed agency: Equifax must pay fine, restitution for tricking customers

A federal agency ordered Atlanta-based Equifax and another credit reporting bureau, TransUnion, to pay more than $23 million in combined fines and restitution for allegedly misleading customers on credit score services that they were selling. The two companies, which are among the nation’s Big Three credit agencies, misled consumers on the cost and value of the credit scores they market to consumers...
Atlanta bank crosses over $4 billion mark with acquisitions

Atlanta bank crosses over $4 billion mark with acquisitions

State Bank Financial Corp. said it completed two acquisitions at year-end that add offices in several markets for the fast-growing bank, including Athens and Savannah. “These mergers provide for the expansion of our statewide footprint with entry into the very attractive markets of Athens, Gainesville, and Savannah,” said State Bank CEO Tom Wiley. “With these transactions completed...
6 ways to pay off your holiday debt in 30 days

6 ways to pay off your holiday debt in 30 days

Now that the holiday lights are fading and the joy of gift-giving has dimmed, there’s a good chance you’re facing a December credit card balance you just can’t quite pay off in full. The National Retail Federation predicted back in November that Americans would spend an average of $935.58 during the 2016 holiday shopping season. And, if you funded those purchases with a credit card...
German firm plans new industrial gas plant in Georgia

German firm plans new industrial gas plant in Georgia

The Linde Group, a German maker of industrial gases, plans to build a $40 million air separation plant in South Georgia, according to a news release Tuesday from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office. The project will be built near the city of Adel in Cook County, about 25 miles north of Valdosta. The complex is expected to employ 35 people and open in 2019, the news release said. “Linde is committed...
5 ways you could jeopardize your mortgage when trying to buy a home

5 ways you could jeopardize your mortgage when trying to buy a home

Shockingly, enough people still do things that can cause themselves heartache when applying for mortgages. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about buying a home in 2017. Your ability to buy a home rests on the numbers and documentation your mortgage lender has. If there is a change to any of these, your chances of buying a home can be jeopardized. This means that when there...
Need a job in 2017? Atlanta named No. 6 best city for job seekers 

Need a job in 2017? Atlanta named No. 6 best city for job seekers 

Looking for work for the new year? Atlanta will be a great place for you search, according to NerdWallet. ATL ranked No. 6 on a list of the best cities for job seekers in 2017. NerdWallet analyzed federal data for the 100 largest U.S. cities to compile the list, assessing which cities had the most opportunities and also where paychecks go the furthest. The publication factored each place's...
Macy's, Best Buy, Walmart: What time do stores open on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day

Macy's, Best Buy, Walmart: What time do stores open on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day can bring out the shopper in some of us, even after the holiday gifts have been opened. If you still want to get out and about this New Year’s weekend, here’s a list of stores that will be open. Remember, check with your local store as times can vary by location. • Best Buy: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day; 10 a.m.-8...
Metro Atlanta’s hot projects and trends for 2017

Metro Atlanta’s hot projects and trends for 2017

Midtown will likely get hotter. New stadiums will open. Suburbs will “densify.” The Beltline will grow. Here are some big projects and development trends in the Atlanta region to watch in 2017. New stadiums on deck Metro Atlanta is awash in stadium-related projects and 2017 is a pivotal year for all of them. The Braves open SunTrust Park and its adjacent Battery mixed-use development in...
Wes Moss: 7 economic themes for 2017

Wes Moss: 7 economic themes for 2017

Dearly departed 2016 can be summed up thusly: “Wow, I did not see that coming!” How else can you describe a year in which Donald Trump won an against-all-odds victory in the presidential election, British voters stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union, the Chicago Cubs ended an iconic 108-year championship drought by winning their first World Series, and we lost several...
Should you open a 401K at a short-term job in Georgia?

Should you open a 401K at a short-term job in Georgia?

Everyone needs to at least think about retirement, and the 401K option available only through employers is pretty appealing. Contributions are automatic and come out of your paycheck and are tax-free until you withdraw them. But what about people who are working a job in Georgia short-term? According to Roswell-based financial adviser Richard J. St. John of St. John & Associates, Inc, this would...
What you should know about your first day on the job

What you should know about your first day on the job

There's more to the first day at a new job than some hand shakes and a lot of new hire jitters. If you recognize a few truths about the first day on the job, it can pave your way to success at a company. Here are a few tips from some Atlanta career experts. Dress professionally and be prepared New employees should be professional, dressed appropriately for the position and prepared to listen and...