Friday, December 31, 2021

Unemployment rates for all 159 Georgia Counties - November 2021

 Unemployment rates fell in all 159 counties in Georgia between November 2020 and November 2021, according to data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Georgia's state unemployment rate decreased by 3.1 percentage points over the year, to 2.2 percent in November 2021 from 5.3 percent in November 2020 before seasonal adjustment.

For the counties, Clayton County showed the largest decline, dropping by 6.1 percentage points to 3.5 percent in November 2021 down from 9.6 percent in November 2020. County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

As of November 2021, Clay County posted the state's highest unemployment rate of 6.4 percent followed by Telfair County at 4.2 percent.

Jackson and Oconee counties tied for the lowest unemployment rates in the state with each posting a 1.4 percent unemployment rate.

County unemployment rates for the last month of the year (December) will be released by BLS on February 2, 2022.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Georgia job openings rise, fewer people quitting their jobs in October; personal income rose only modestly


Job openings rose even as the number of people quitting their jobs fell in October as personal income in Georgia rose only slightly in the third quarter of 2021.

Job openings and turnover

The number of job openings in Georgia rose by 15,000 to 432,000 in October 2021. The number of job openings continued to reach new records as they totaled above 400,000 over each of the past three months.

In comparison, Georgia reported the number of unemployed in October at 158,436, resulting in more than 2.7 job openings for each unemployed person in the state.

At the same time, the number of people hired in October dropped by 7,000 to 261,000.

The number of people separating from their jobs declined by 40,000, as 31,000 fewer people chose to quit their positions. The number of people choosing to quit their jobs in October dropped to 154,000, 16 percent below the number recorded in September.

Layoffs and discharges declined by 3,000 over the month to 57,000 in October.

Over the past year, the number of people hired for jobs has increased by 46,000 since last October, while the number of total separations (both voluntary and involuntary) has risen by 49,000.

Personal income 3rd Quarter 2021

Personal income in the third quarter of 2021 rose by 0.8 percent (percent changes are expressed at annual rates). Wages and proprietors’ income rose 8.5 percent, while income from dividends, interest, and rent increased 4.5 percent.

The slow growth in personal income for Georgia was primarily due to a decline in transfer receipts, down 23.4 percent over the quarter, partially reflecting a decline in state unemployment compensation.

Personal current transfer receipts are benefits received by persons from federal, state, and local governments and from businesses for which no current services are performed. They include retirement and disability insurance benefits (mainly social security), medical benefits (mainly Medicare and Medicaid), income maintenance benefits, unemployment insurance compensation, veterans’ benefits, and federal education and training assistance.

For the U.S., personal income rose 2.6 percent as wages and proprietors’ income rose 9.3 percent and transfer receipts dropped 15.6 percent. Income from dividends, interest, and rent increased 3.3 percent.

Georgia unemployment rate drops to a new low, employment up in November

Georgia Nonfarm Employment Levels 

Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.8 percent in November, the lowest rate recorded by the state since records began in 1976, and the first time the state’s unemployment rate has fallen below 3.0 percent. 

The rate declined came as the number of employed Georgians rose by 11,983, while the number of unemployed dropped by 12,218. The state’s labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 61.5 percent, while the state’s employment-population ratio stood at 59.7 percent. 

Georgia’s unemployment rate remained well below the national unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in November. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska had the lowest jobless rate in November, 1.8 percent, followed by Utah, 2.1 percent. The rates in Georgia (2.8 percent), Nebraska (1.8 percent), Oklahoma (2.5 percent), Utah (2.1 percent), and West Virginia (4.0 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) 

Job Growth 

In November, the number of nonfarm jobs in Georgia grew by 13,500 after growing by more than 20,000 in each of the two previous months. With the additional jobs added in November, the state remains only 48,000 jobs short of the number it recorded prior to the pandemic beginning in early 2020. 

All of the growth in November occurred in the private sector, which added 14,000 jobs over the month while government jobs declined by 500. The state’s private sector remains only 27,000 jobs short of its numbers prior to the beginning of the pandemic. 

For the first 11 months of 2021, the state has recorded a job growth rate of 3.8 percent, with the private sector showing a 4.4 percent growth rate. Job growth has not risen at this rate since the mid-1990s. 

Jobs by sector 

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities added the greatest number of jobs in November, up by 4,300 for a 1.6 percent increase over the month. 

Other notable job sectors in the month included manufacturing, which added 3,400 jobs, and the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 3,200 jobs in November. 

Retail trade dragged down the overall numbers with a loss of 5,100 jobs in November. 

Over the past 12 months, Georgia has seen the addition of 192,700 jobs for a growth rate of 4.4 percent. Of those, 190,800 jobs were in the private sector, while governments added 1,900 jobs. 

Sectors adding the most jobs in the past 12 months included professional and business services, up by 58,200 (8.3 percent) and leisure and hospitality, up by 33,000 (7.9 percent). 

State government was the only sector losing jobs since last November, down by 900 jobs, or -0.6 percent.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Georgia unemployment claims bounce up

The advance number of initial unemployment claims for Georgia jumped nearly 50 percent, before seasonal adjustment, for the week ending December 4, 2021.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that advance claims for the week totaled 3,799 compared to 2,535 initial claims in the prior week, which ended November 27. Despite the move up last week, for 2021 initial claims remained well below the number of initial claims reported in the weeks prior to November 27.

The number of insured unemployed in the state rose by 69 percent (59,240) to 85,212 for the week ending November 27. The state’s insured unemployment rate for the week ending November 20 was 0.6 percent.

For the nation, the advance number of initial unemployment claims rose by 29 percent to 280,665 for the week ending December 4, and the number of insured unemployed increased by 25 percent to 1,958,827 for the week ending November 27. The nation’s insured unemployment rate was 1.1 percent for the week ending November 20.

Comparisons with a year ago

At the state level, unemployment claims data are not seasonally adjusted, so it is useful to compare the rate of change this year with changes that occurred in 2020. 

For the comparable week ending December 5, 2020, initial unemployment claims in Georgia rose by 72 percent to 33,003, while the number of insured unemployed in the state for the week ending November 28, 2020, rose nearly 16 percent to 234,262. Last year at this time, the state’s insured unemployment rate stood at 5.30 percent. 

For definitions of the terms used as well as information on other states and the nation, see the latest U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s weekly report at

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank continues to believe that inflation will ease

 The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released a summary of economic conditions in the Southeast U.S. ahead of the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting on December 14-15, 2021. 

According to the Atlanta Fed, expectations remain that price pressures will ease in 2022. For the 12 months ending in October, the Atlanta area saw inflation rise by 7.9 percent, the largest 12-month increase since 1982. 

Prices. “Nonlabor costs continued to increase, and inputs such as raw materials, the availability of which remained exacerbated by supply chain disruptions, rose significantly. Several contacts reported that costs of freight and construction materials increased multiple times over the last year. Pricing power was strong, though contract negotiations were resulting in shorter terms. Most contacts expect cost pressures to ease steadily over 2022 but remain above pre-pandemic levels. The Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations survey showed year-over-year unit costs were relatively unchanged in November at 3.6 percent. Year-ahead expectations increased to 3.3 percent in November, up from 3.1 percent in October. Both measures have increased sharply over the last nine months” 

In other matters, the bank found strength in several parts of the regional economy.

Housing and Construction. “Although still strong, housing demand moderated further from the record highs experienced over the past year. Nonetheless, the recent uptick in mortgage interest rates led to an improvement in residential sales, spurred by homebuyers' expectations that interest rates will rise further. On a year-over-year basis, home prices increased sharply in markets like Atlanta, Nashville, and central and south Florida.” 

Manufacturing. “District manufacturers continued to report healthy demand over the reporting period, with several noting record sales. Lead times for components were extended as supply chain interruptions persisted, hampering production for some firms. Most manufacturers anticipate stronger sales over the next 6-12 months; however, lingering labor shortages, rising input costs, and disrupted supply chains could challenge firms' ability to meet this demand.” 

Transportation. “Transportation activity remained robust over the reporting period. District ports reported continued growth in container volumes, noting that customers were buying safety stocks of inventories, citing a "just in case, rather than just in time" approach. However, containers were slow to move off port due to a lack of chassis and trucks.” 

Banking and finance. “District banking activity remained steady. Financial institutions experienced stronger consumer and residential mortgage loan growth, and improved CRE loan demand. Although margin pressures remained due to the low interest rate environment, interest income rose as loan demand strengthened. Deposit levels were stable and remained elevated. Asset quality was unchanged with loan losses and net charge-offs still near historical lows." 

Agriculture. “Agricultural conditions remained mixed. Most of the District remained drought free. Agriculture producers indicated supply chain issues and labor scarcity are putting pressure on margins. On a year-over-year basis, production forecasts for the District's corn and soybean crops were up while rice, peanuts, cotton, and sugarcane forecasts were down. The USDA reported year-over-year prices paid to farmers in September were up for corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, cattle, broilers, eggs, and milk.” 

Beige book reports for all the Federal Reserve banks are available here.