Birmingham companies announced significantly more jobs and capital investment in 2018 than in 2017, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA).
In 2018, 58 companies across the Birmingham seven-county region announced 4,511 jobs and $1,026,024,686 in capital investment, compared with 3,068 jobs and $572.7 million in capital investment announced by 40 companies in 2017. The seven-county region encompasses Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker counties.
“The 2018 numbers represent a solid year overall for Birmingham businesses and a record-breaking year for our region,” said BBA President and CEO Brian Hilson. “We hope to continue that momentum into 2019 and beyond, and are already off to a great start with U.S. Steel’s announcement this month that it will add 150 jobs and invest $215 million in our region. We are also working with another international company that may soon commit to coming to Birmingham.”
Amazon’s landmark announcement last summer that it will create 1,500 jobs and invest $325 million in a state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bessemer was 2018’s biggest announcement in both jobs and capital investment. Other major announcements that drove the record-breaking numbers came from Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s battery plant, DC BLOX’s data center campus, Shipt’s 881-job expansion and McLeod Software’s expansion and headquarters move to Hoover.
Jefferson County led the way in job creation with 3,394 announced, followed by Shelby County with 500 and Bibb County with 337. Jefferson County also netted the most capital investment with over $642 million, followed by Walker County with over $309 million and Bibb County with $292 million.
Since 2012, the automotive industry added the most jobs, representing 26 percent of announced jobs, followed by finance and insurance with 13 percent and IT and analytical instruments with 9 percent. The automotive industry also was the leader in capital investment, contributing nearly half – 43 percent – of the region’s announced capital investment since 2012, followed by metals manufacturing and finance and insurance, both of which contributed 7 percent to the overall investment.
The BBA will discuss these projects in detail and the region’s key economic indicators at the BBA’s Regional Economic Growth Summit, set for April 16 in Birmingham.