In April, 82 perent of the Georgians receiving unemployment benefits earned less than $20,000 annually in their prior employment, but with the federal unemployment insurance supplements, these individuals were receiving an equivalent salary of $28,808. While the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) and Governor Brian Kemp’s office last week announced the end of the federal UI benefits on June 26, 2021, the state’s dedicated employment resource, Employ Georgia, announced more than 239,000 job listings with an average salary of over $49,932.
“Our job is not to provide wage replacement for individuals, but to offer career opportunities for Georgians to support their families and better their lives for years to come,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Temporary financial support has served its short-term purpose, but providing training opportunities, increased certification, and access to increased education provides long-term solutions.”
As of today, over 239,000 jobs are listed on EmployGeorgia for Georgians to access and over 72 percent list salaries paying over $30,000 annually. The industries with the highest number of positions currently posted are Health Care, Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services (Hospitality), Transportation and Warehouse, and Manufacturing. Employers are looking for furniture movers and housekeepers offering $13 to $20 an hour and customer service associates with an annual salary of $33,000. Hotel front office managers are in high demand at $45,000 a year and a health communications specialist can earn $75,000 a year. Job listings for transportation and warehouse supervisors advertise between $55,000 and $65,000 a year and automotive service techs list for $62,000. In many cases, employers are willing to train quality candidates and assist with attainment of additional credentials. Some employers are also including signing bonuses, retention pay, and enhanced benefits packages to entice job seekers.
Employ Georgia uses artificial intelligence to match an individual’s skills to potential jobs. Claimants receive access to job listings, support to upload up to five searchable resumes, job search assistance, career counseling, skills testing, job fair information, job training services, and accessibility and special accommodations for people with disabilities and veterans transitioning back into the workplace.
“With over 65 percent of those receiving UI benefits making less than $10,000 a year, it is critical that we provide the resources necessary to upskill this workforce giving them the tools they need to find stable, fulfilling employment,” said Commissioner Butler.
Martinez, GA native Jorge Negron recently posted his resume on Employ Georgia looking for a better career path to support his family. Negron separated from his job during the pandemic and has been searching for work on Employ Georgia and other job search sites.
“I was looking for something that would benefit me in the future, and I knew the unemployment benefits wouldn’t last forever,” said Negron. “There are lots of opportunities out there, but you have to look for them and find the one that fits you the best. Sometimes you have to weed through the dirt to find the gem.”
With the increased salary Negron found in his new employment, he is now moving out of his leased apartment into a house that will provide more room and a better lifestyle for his family.
Claimants are being encouraged to register with Employ Georgia before weekly work search is mandated in late June to avoid interruptions in their payments. Video tutorials on how to register and utilize EmployGeorgia are available at https://employgeorgia.com//.
The GDOL announced today that Georgia’s April preliminary unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, down two-tenths from a revised 4.5 percent in March, and down eight and two-tenths from 12.5 percent in April 2020. Georgia’s unemployment rate was one and eight-tenths lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.1.
“Georgia is continuing to see our unemployment rate drop and the labor force increase, but our focus is aligning job seekers with viable employment to continue to strengthen our economy,” said Commissioner Butler.
The number of jobs in April was down 9,300, but up 416,000 since April 2020, with 69 percent of the jobs lost in March 2020 and April 2020 gained back. Accommodation and Food Services, Administrative and Support Services, and Retail Trade, three sectors hit hard by the pandemic, accounted for nearly 90 percent of the over-the-month job loss. On Employ Georgia, these three sectors accounted for over 55,000 job postings during the month of April.
Resources for reemployment assistance along with Information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at dol.georgia.gov.