Sunday, March 27, 2016

Union Summer targets Atlanta in 2016

The AFL-CIO is now recruiting college interns and a site coordinator to work in teams to support union organizing campaigns and other initiatives in Atlanta during June, July, and August 2016.


According to the AFL-CIO, tasks include:

“…having one-on-one conversations with workers in the process of organizing a union in their workplaces, organizing direct actions such as marches and rallies, talking with workers impacted by the jobs crisis, as well as assisting in building community, labor and religious support for union organizing efforts.”

While Union Summer is an annual event, the cities targeted vary each year. In 2016, targets will include:

·       Jackson, MS
·       Atlanta, GA
·       Anniston, AL
·       Houston, TX

Interns participating in this year’s activities are not considered employees but do receive a stipend of $480 per week. The site coordinator will be paid $3,200 per month.

Interns should possess the following characteristics to be successful:

·       Flexible and willing to work long hours and nights and weekends on an unpredictable schedule (depending on needs of the campaign);
·       Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences;
·       Able to work in teams and have excellent communication skills;
·       Open to working with people of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations; and
·       Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

The AFL-CIO has not identified which industries or companies in Atlanta would be targeted but past efforts have focused on fast food and health care establishments.

More information on planned activities is available on the Union Summer website.

The AFL-CIO has also uploaded a video on YouTube discussing their 2015 Union Summer.





Monday, March 21, 2016

Federal statistical agency confirms that Georgia had even a better job growth record than originally reported

After reviewing 2015 jobs data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has boosted Georgia by additional 27,600 new jobs in 2015. The total brings the state’s job growth up to 118,700 for the last calendar year.

With the adjustment, Georgia’s nonfarm employment at the end of 2015 stood at 4,330,100 jobs – a new record.

Georgia Nonfarm Employment, Jan. 1990 - Jan. 2016, Seasonally Adjusted
The increase means that Georgia’s job growth rate rose from a preliminary figure of 2.2 percent to a final figure of 2.8 percent placing Georgia with the 3rd highest job growth rate among large states in 2015. In 2014, the state recorded a 3.4 percent growth rate.

Only Florida, which grew by 3.2 percent, and California, which grew by 3.1 percent, showed better percentage gains in new jobs among the nation’s 11 largest states.

While impressive, the state’s job growth in 2015 was its second best in this century, still falling short of its 2014 level when Georgia added 137,600 new jobs. Prior to 2014, the last time the state experienced this level of growth was in 1999 when it added 122,400 jobs over the calendar year.

Georgia ended the calendar year with an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, its lowest unemployment rate for a calendar year since 2007. Over the year, the state’s labor force grew by 38,037 as 80,479 more people found employment and the number of unemployed dropped by 42,442.

Even as the state’s unemployment rate has dropped from double digits during the most recent recession to single digit numbers, Georgia’s labor force has shown little change, a situation that is showing up in labor numbers across the nation. Economists are unsure of the reason for the slow growth of the labor force although some attribute it to an increasing number of retirees as baby boomers retire.

Atlanta Metro Area

The Atlanta area continues to be the state’s main growth engine adding 70,400 jobs in 2015. The metro area’s rate of job growth did slow in 2015, equaling the state’s job growth rate of 2.8 percent but slower than the growth rates recorded for the metro area in 2014 (4.2 percent) and 2013 (3.2 percent).

As of the end of calendar year 2015, the Atlanta metro area was base for 2,622,600 jobs, more than 60 percent of the state’s total nonfarm employment.

Over the calendar year, the metro area accounted for 59 percent of the state’s new jobs.

Each spring, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nonfarm payroll estimates for states and metropolitan areas are revised as a result of annual benchmark processing to reflect 2015 employment counts primarily from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. These changes are reflected in this release.