Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Georgia follows the nation in declining unemployment rate, higher employment-population ratio for 2017

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Georgia’s average annual unemployment rate declined in 2017 and was one of 17 states whose rate was not significantly different than the nation’s 4.4% average annual unemployment rate, according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Georgia’s annual average unemployment rate for decreased by 0.7 percentage points from 5.4% in 2016 to 4.7% in 2017.

Overall, annual average unemployment rates decreased in 32 states and were little changed or unchanged in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

Among the states, Alaska recorded the highest average unemployment rate at 7.2%.

Five states, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and North Dakota, reported unemployment rates below 3%.

Employment-Population Ratio

Georgia’s ratio of people employed to the state’s population rose from 59.1 in 2016 to 60.2 in 2017, an increase of 1.1 percentage points.

The ratio was not statistically different from the nation’s rate of 60.1.

At the end of the 20th Century, Georgia’s ratio was 66.8 but then declined to a low of 57.4 in 2010 before slowing climbing over the past seven years.

Georgia’s 2017 ratio exceeded the employment-population ratios of the states surrounding Georgia, including Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, all of which were below 59.

The employment-population ratio is the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and older that is employed.

Economists continue to argue over whether the employment-population ratio can be substantially increased from these levels. Arguments that the ratio cannot move up significantly include an aging population and more people who have permanently left the workforce because of the effects of disability or for other reasons.