With a GDP of $304 billion, the Metro Atlanta economy is the eighth-largest in the country and 17th-largest in the world. Corporate operations play a major role in the economy, as the city claims the country's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and hosts the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, and UPS. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in metro Atlanta, and the region hosts offices of over 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to Atlanta by the city's educated workforce; as of 2014, 45% of adults 25 or older in the city have at least 4-year college degrees, compared to the national average of 28%.
Atlanta began as a railroad town and logistics has remained a major component of the city's economy to this day. Atlanta is an important rail junction and contains major classification yards for Norfolk Southern and CSX. Since its construction in the 1950s, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has served as a key engine of Atlanta's economic growth. Delta Air Lines, the city's largest employer and the metro area's third-largest, operates the world's largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson and has helped make it the world's busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport, Atlanta has become a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2017, the city contains 26 consulates general, the seventh-highest concentration of diplomatic missions in the United States.
Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy. The city is a major cable television programming center. Ted Turner established the headquarters of both the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta. Cox Enterprises, the country's third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a dozen American newspapers, is headquartered in the city. The Weather Channel is headquartered just outside Atlanta in Cobb County.
Information technologya business sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processinghas garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta's economic output. Indeed, Atlanta has been nicknamed the Silicon peach due to its burgeoning technology sector. As of 2013, Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration of information technology jobs in the United States, numbering 85,000. Atlanta ranks as the sixth fastest-growing city for information technology jobs, with an employment growth of 4.8% in 2012 and a three-year growth near 9%, or 16,000 jobs. Information technology companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce.
Recently, Atlanta has become a center for film and television production, largely due to the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which awards qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more. Film and television production facilities in Atlanta include Turner Studios, Pinewood Studios (Pinewood Atlanta), Tyler Perry Studios, Williams Street Productions, and the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages. Film and television production injected $6 billion into Georgia's economy in 2015, with Atlanta garnering most of the projects. Atlanta has gained recognition as a center of production of horror and zombie-related productions, with Atlanta magazine dubbing the city the "Zombie Capital of the World".
Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy has been disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession, with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68 among 100 American cities in a September 2014 report due to an elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a depressed housing market. From 2010 to 2011, Atlanta saw a 0.9% contraction in employment and only a 0.4% rise in income. Though unemployment had dropped to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market has struggled, with home prices falling by 2.1% in January 2012, reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta fell 17.3% in February 2012, the largest annual drop in the history of the index for any city. The collapse in home prices has led some economists to deem Atlanta the worst housing market in the country. Nevertheless, in August 2013, Atlanta appeared on Forbes magazine's list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.