Category Archives: Politics

New Records Set as Georgia’s Jobless Rate Dips to 4.8 Percent in June

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased for the fifth consecutive month to 4.8 percent in June, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.9 percent in May. The last time the state recorded a jobless rate as low as 4.8 percent was in September 2007. In June 2016, the rate was 5.3 percent.

“Georgia’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in almost 10 years, because our employers continue to create jobs and put record numbers of people to work,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We now have record highs for the number of employed individuals, the labor force size and total number of jobs in Georgia.” 

Employers added 27,400 jobs in June, a 0.6 percent growth rate, which increased the total number of jobs to 4,496,000. The growth more than doubled the average May-to-June increase of 12,100 jobs for the past three years. Job gains came in leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 8,500; other services, such as repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services, 5,700; education and health services, 5,600; state and local government, 2,100; information services, 1,100; and trade, transportation and warehousing and financial activities, 1,000 each. The job gains were offset somewhat by losses in construction, 4,000, and manufacturing, 3,000.

Over-the-year, Georgia gained 122,600 jobs, a 2.8 percent growth rate, up from 4,373,400 in June 2016. The federal job growth rate was 1.6 percent. Georgia’s job growth came in the following employment sectors: professional and business services, 37,400; leisure and hospitality, 21,900; education and health services, 18,100; trade, transportation and warehousing, 17,900; financial activities, 10,000; government, 8,300; information services, 4,500; other services, 3,900; and construction, 2,000. Manufacturing lost 2,500 jobs. 

The number of employed residents rose by 8,782 to 4,797,789 from May to June. There were 153,335 more Georgians employed than in June 2016. The number of jobless residents declined by 5,385 to 240,923 in June. There were 18,394 fewer unemployed residents than in June of last year.  

The labor force increased by 3,397 to 5,038,712 in June, partially because high school and college students entered the job market. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs. The labor force is up by 134,941 from 4,903,771 in June 2016.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, increased by 771, or 3.1 percent, to 25,638. The increases came in manufacturing and construction, administrative and support services, accommodations and food services, and educational services, which includes private schools. Over the year, claims were down by 1,657, or 6.1 percent, from 27,295 in June 2016.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com, showed 71,261 new job postings statewide for June.  

Visit dol.georgia.gov to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers and to connect with us on social media.

Carter Introduces Drug Testing For Unemployment Insurance Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01) introduced legislation today to allow states to conduct drug abuse risk assessments and drug testing of Unemployment Insurance applicants.

“The Unemployment Insurance program is an important safety net program for Americans across the country,” Carter said. “I introduced this legislation because it gives states the ability to ensure the resources of this program are going to those who truly need it while saving taxpayer dollars in the process. Unemployment Insurance recipients should be drug-free and ready to reenter the workforce and my legislation works to make that happen.”

Background:

The Ensuring Quality in the Unemployment Insurance Program (EQUIP) Act introduced by Carter today codifies that states have the ability to require all individuals to take a substance abuse risk assessment before receiving unemployment benefits if the state chooses.

The assessment will use a screening instrument approved by the National Institutes of Health that is designed to determine if an individual is at high risk for substance abuse. Those determined to be at high risk for drug abuse will submit to a drug screening before receiving unemployment benefits.

If testing is positive, then the burden shifts to the applicant to make sure they meet certain requirements before receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The first positive test would result in no regular unemployment insurance benefit for a 30 day period. A second positive test would result in no unemployment insurance benefit for the remainder of the benefit year.

Georgia Chamber Recognized as 2017 State Chamber of the Year

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) named the Georgia Chamber the 2017 State Chamber of Year at its annual convention in Nashville.

Chamber of the Year is the nation’s only award recognizing the leadership role chambers have in their communities. Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities such as education, transportation, business development, and quality of life. This year’s competition drew numerous entries from chambers throughout the United States and Canada.

“We’re proud of this affirmation that our engaged investors, talented staff, local chamber partnerships, and our world-class networks who continue to lead Georgia forward,” said Georgia Chamber President & CEO, Chris Clark.

The Chamber of the Year multi-step application process complied a benchmark administered by the ACCE, and included an extensive application on data, planning, and implementation of the Georgia Chamber’s 2030 initiative. In addition, a panel of experienced chamber professionals scored the Georgia Chamber’s financial, membership, communications, and program performance.

Furthermore, the Georgia Chamber’s Sales Director, Ian Rutan, and Senior Account Executive, Kate Coffey, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for reaching exceptional sales goals. The Chamber was also honored to accept two additional awards in Communications for their 2030 initiative and their remarkable use of creative infographics throughout their communications efforts.

While the Georgia Chamber received top honors for its ongoing work, the organization is continuing to prepare for upcoming events and initiatives launching in the Fall. Be sure to stay up-to-date by visiting www.gachamber.com.