(The Center Square) — As the Consumer Price Index continues to rise, a Georgia nonprofit says the state should remove barriers to jobs to facilitate business growth.
The non-seasonally adjusted CPI rose 0.3% in April and has increased 8.3% in the last 12 months.
“The fact that inflation ticked down in April is welcome relief, but the rate is still higher than what economists predicted and is still running super hot,” Erik Randolph, the director of research for the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), said in a statement. “A contributing cause to inflation is disruptions on supply. The Georgia state government can help by removing barriers to jobs that can facilitate growth on the supply-side.
“Economics 101 teaches that increasing supply means both lower prices (lower inflation) and more employment and economic growth,” Randolph added. “Increases in demand have a trade-off between prices and employment/growth. Therefore, anything state governments can do to facilitate job growth and business growth will help mitigate inflationary pressures. In other words, enhancing the productive capacity increases supply, putting downward pressure on prices.”
Meanwhile, in a blog post, Ray Khalfani, a policy analyst for the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, said that while Georgia’s job numbers show improvement, inequities remain below the surface.
Federal stimulus dollars “boosted otherwise inadequate safety net programs to protect millions of employed and unemployed Georgia workers,” Khalfani wrote.
“Despite federal relief efforts that have contributed to Georgia’s ongoing jobs recovery and a revenue surplus that has led to an untapped Revenue Shortfall Reserve that sits at a record maximum of $4.3 billion, state lawmakers have failed to maximize the use of these investments to further strengthen Georgia’s recovery,” Khalfani added. “This failure is possibly driven by harmful policy stances, which suggest that federal relief efforts have led to more economic harms than benefits.”
These “dangerous stances” led to delays in allocating $4.7 billion in American Rescue Plan dollars targeting “vulnerable workers and families,” Khalfani said.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor