Friday, August 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Graphs (give or take one)

Below are two graphs. The first graph shows national nonfarm employment (CES data) with the one-month change each month from January 2004 through July 2014.

The second graph shows Georgia nonfarm employment (CES data) with the one-month change each month from January 2004 through June 2014 (latest available from BLS). Both show seasonally adjusted data.

Both graphs show the downturn in jobs during the recession. Note how the U.S. data not only recovers but stays clearly above the 0 line, while the Georgia data are choppier and stays closer to the 0 job growth, and sometimes slips into negative (job loss) territory since the end of the recession and even before the recession began in December 2007.

Except for late 2010 - early 2011 that nearly offset each other, the job loss months in Georgia after the recession are more modest losses than those before the recession, but you don't see as much momentum upward in the up months after the recession than before. It is like an airplane trying to get speed to get off the ground but keeps bouncing back down.

Georgia continues to be pulled along by the national economy. If the national economy slows, there is no indication Georgia can do anything but follow along and slow as well, if not even experience a sharper jobs decline.

A cautionary tale for the future?

Nonfarm employment, U.S., January 2004 - July 2014, seasonally adjusted
Nonfarm employment, Georgia, January 2004 - June 2014, seasonally adjusted

And, believe it or not, the data only looks worse for Georgia if you look at it not seasonally adjusted, where the number of months of job losses greater than 50,000 exceed the number of months of gains greater than 50,000.

Nonfarm employment, Georgia, January 2004 - June 2014, not seasonally adjusted

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Georgia’s Metro Areas 5 Years After the Recession Ends

The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, but the state is still 61,300 jobs short of where it stood in June 2007, six months before the recession began.
The story also varies based on where you work in the state. While Georgia as a whole is showing a 5.4 percent increase in nonfarm jobs (not seasonally adjusted), some metro areas in the state have fared better than others.

Here is a quick table on job growth / decline from June 2009 to June 2014, from best to worse, for metro areas in Georgia.

United States                              +  6.0 percent
Georgia                                      +  5.4
Gainesville                                  + 10.6
Savannah                                    +  8.1
Atlanta                                        +  7.5
Augusta                                      +  4.3
Columbus                                   +  3.2
Macon                                       +  2.5
Athens                                       +  2.1
Hinesville                                   +  1.5
Rome                                        +  0.8
Warner Robins                           -  0.8
Valdosta                                    -  1.7
Albany                                       -  2.7
Brunswick                                 -  4.9
Dalton                                       -  5.2

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES, not seasonally adjusted. Data extracted August 9, 2014.