Metro Atlanta ranked 7th in jobs created by foreign direct investment (FDI) from 1991-2011 out of the 100th largest metropolitan areas in the United States, according to a newly released study by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

According to the study, metro Atlanta had 134,610 jobs in foreign-owned firms for a total of 6.8 percent of private employment in the area, a substantial jump in 20 years.

In 1991, Atlanta was ranked 17th out of the 100 with 77,520 jobs representing 5.6 percent of the total private jobs in the area.

The New YorkNorth New JerseyLong island area was the top ranked metro region for jobs at foreign firms with 490,287 jobs counted.

The Metro Atlanta metro fared better than the average in the country at 5.5 percent of jobs at foreign-owned firms with Bridgeport, Conn., registering the most at 13 percent and Provo, Utah, the least at about 1 percent in the eastern half of the U.S.

The report says that FDI “holds out considerable promise for giving the economy’s re-orientation back towards production, innovation, and global engagement a shot in the arm.”

But it also says that FDI is often misunderstood and warns regions merely seeking “head-line grabbing” greenfield investments and new openings.

Economic and job growth at foreign-owned firms are generated more by mergers and acquisitions and expansions rather than openings, the report counsels.

Among its recommendations for public officials seeking to attract foreign direct investment are: assuring alignment among local, state and federal policies; developing a compelling global identity and integrating foreign direct investment  and export promotion strategies into a coherent global engagement strategy.

For the full report, go to