Occupational growth is defined using projections data. These data list the fastest growing jobs (percentage of growth), largest job growth (numerical growth), most annual openings, etc. Eight of the 20 fastest growing jobs are related to health services and five are related to computer technology. Fastest growing occupations, defined as a percentage of new growth, also have a minimum of 100 annual openings. Additionally, more than half of these occupations have higher than average wages. Occupations with a high percentage of growth, 100 or more openings per year and higher than average wages earn the distinction of being a "hot job".
Occupational projections are published in Georgia Workforce 2014 – Long-term Employment Trends and Georgia Area Workforce Trends (local workforce investment act areas).
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that college definitely pays. Workers age 18 and over with a Bachelor's degree earn an average of $51,206 a year, while those with a high school diploma earn $27,915. Workers without a high school diploma average $18,734. An advanced degree earns workers an average of $74,602. These data were collected in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2004.
Current Population Surveys from 1998, 1999 and 2000 were used to estimate Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates. These estimates show that over a lifetime (age 24-65), the differences in earned income are far more significant. Workers without a high school diploma will earn less than $1.0 million in their lifetime. Those with a high school diploma will earn $1.2 million. Workers with a Bachelor's degree will earn $2.1 million and an advanced degree will earn 2.5 million.
The State Data and Research Center has a variety of economic and demographic data, including statistics from the Census of Population and State of Georgia publications. The Georgia Population Trends section of the Center's web site has a summary report detailing population growth during the decade. Georgia's population grew by 26.4 percent -- from 6,478,149 to 8,186,453 -- in the decade from 1990 to 2000.