Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped by a miniscule percentage in December, but it brought praise by the Georgia Department of Labor nevertheless.
The state rate dropped 0.1 percentage points to reach 5.6 percent in December while Georgia saw a significant increase in the number of jobs.
“December is yet another month where we have seen job growth throughout the state,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a news release. “We more than doubled our job growth from November, which is very promising, considering how challenging of a year this has been. Georgia has gained back 82 percent of the jobs we lost at the beginning of the pandemic and continue to remain strong in economic growth and business development.”
According to the state, jobs in December increased by 44,700, reaching a total of 4,558,900 — though the number is still a decrease from the same time last year.
The GDOL reports:
- The job total listed online at EmployGeorgia has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic from the April 2020 listing of just 73,000 jobs.
- Of the over 170,000 jobs currently listed on EmployGeorgia, over half of them advertise annual salaries over $40,000. In many cases, employers are willing to train quality candidates and assist with attainment of additional credentials. The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Administrative and Support Services, 10,900, Accommodation and Food Services, 9,700, Retail Trade, 7,800, Transportation and Warehousing, 3,200, and Durable Goods Manufacturing, 2,700.
In December, the number of employed Georgians was down 25,726 to reach a total of 4,841,339, but the number of employed was up by 561,415 since April.
Georgia’s labor force in December saw a decrease of 32,978, reaching a total of 5,127,620. However, the number is up 233,224 since the start of the pandemic in April.
The Georgia Department of Labor has paid nearly $17.3 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. Last week, the GDOL issued $244 million in benefits, which include regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.
In December, initial unemployment claims increased by 19 percent (20,110) since November to reach 124,285. Since week ending March 21, 2020, 4,305,242 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the nine years prior to the pandemic combined (4 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 35,912, down 1,127 over the week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 346,631 PUA claims have been processed.
The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 8,132, Manufacturing, 5,040, Administrative and Support Services, 3,726, Retail Trade, 2,620, Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,178, and Transportation and Warehousing, 2,178.
The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending January 16, was 900,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 926,000.