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Georgia policy group says state’s economic outlook isn’t as rosy as federal jobs report indicates

(The Center Square) — While many pundits lauded Friday’s job numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Georgia nonprofit is raising a red flag.

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On Friday, the feds announced higher than expected job numbers, showing that total non-farm payroll employment increased by 528,000 in July.

“Friday’s jobs report is being billed as great news, but peeling back a few layers reveals a worse reality,” Erik Randolph, the Georgia Center for Opportunity’s director of research, said in a statement. “It’s true the number of jobs in the United States is now at pre-pandemic levels.

“The difference is that the number of people who are actually working hasn’t caught back up,” Randolph added. “That implies more people are working two or even three jobs to make ends meet in this highly inflationary environment. Meanwhile, wage growth isn’t keeping pace with inflation, putting poor and working class Americans even further behind.”

Interestingly, a recent analysis from WalletHub found Georgia ranked among the states with the most workers quitting their jobs, even as state officials trumpet low unemployment. Last month, after reporting Georgia’s June seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit an all-time low, newer numbers showed the state’s unemployment rate increased.

But the tenuous employment landscape isn’t the only concern facing businesses.

A new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that inflation remains the top issue for small businesses. While state-specific data isn’t available, officials said the concern extends to The Peach State.

“There’s no question that issues like inflation are having an impact here in Georgia, and until our small business owners are confident the worst is behind us, they’re not going to invest in new equipment, let alone expanding,” NFIB State Director Nathan Humphrey said in a news release. “It’s just too risky.”

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

The Georgia Virtue
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