Friday, November 18, 2022

Georgia unemployment rate remains low in October

 Government employment in Georgia grows faster than private sector 

for the first time since early 2020 employment losses


Georgia Total Nonfarm Employment, January 2020-October 2022

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Georgia’s overall unemployment rate remained low and employment growth was moderate in October, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Private sector employment in the state rose less than the increase in government for the first time since the onset of Covid-related employment declines in early 2020. All data are seasonally adjusted and subject to revision.

Unemployment

The state posted a 2.9% unemployment compared to 3.4% in October 2021. Over the month, the state’s labor force slipped to 61.8, while the employment-population ratio moved down to 60.0. The number of unemployed workers in the state increased by 3,954, while 5,573 workers left the labor force.

Even with the decline, the state’s labor force remains 68,859 above the level reached a year ago.

Nonfarm employment

Georgia recorded little change in the number of jobs in October recording 3,700 net new jobs in October. Over the past year, the state has seen a growth of 204,500 jobs, which translates to a 4.4% job growth rate.

For the first time since the losses in early 2020, growth in government jobs outpaced the private sector, as government employment grew by 2,000 while the private sector added 1,700 new jobs. Prior to early 2020, the last time Georgia saw government growing faster than the private sector was in late 2018 during the economic slowdown that occurred at that time.

Private sector employment grew at the slowest pace since early 2020.

Industries reporting higher job numbers over the month included construction (1,600), financial activities (1,400), health care and social assistance (1,200), leisure and hospitality (1,100), and other services (1,000).

These gains were partially offset by job losses in manufacturing (-3,100) and wholesale trade (-1,400). Other industries showed only small movements up or down over the month.

State government showed no job growth in October, with local governments adding 1,400 employees and federal government agencies in Georgia increasing by 600.





Thursday, November 17, 2022

Fewer people quit, were laid off or fired in Georgia; job openings and hires remained essentially unchanged over the month

Job openings and hires in Georgia showed no significant change from August to September, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total separations declined significantly over the month as fewer people quit their jobs and employers laid off or discharged fewer workers.

Nationally, the job openings and hire rates were little changed in September, while the total separations rate decreased.

Job openings and hires

In September, job openings totaled 402,000, up from 391,000 in August but down from the 410,000 recorded a year ago. While announcements of job openings rose, the number of actual hires totaled 264,000 compared to 275,000 in August. In September 2021, the number of hires were 266,000. Neither the change in the number of job openings or hires over the month were statistically significant according to BLS.

Job openings and hires can be indicators of the level of optimism on the part of employers about future economic conditions. When employers are optimistic about future prospects, they tend to post more openings and hire people. As employers become more pessimistic about the future, the number of job openings and hires tend to decline.

Separations

The number of people leaving their jobs in September, both for voluntary and involuntary reasons, dropped by 64,000 in September to 224,000, the lowest level since last October.

BLS noted that the change in total separations, quits, and layoffs and separations over the month were statistically significant.

People choosing to quit their jobs declined by 19,000. Workers deciding to quit their jobs either to move to another employer or to drop out of the labor force can indicate their degree of optimism about their future economic conditions. When workers are optimistic about future opportunities, they are more willing to voluntarily leave their current job. As workers become more pessimistic about the future, the number of workers choosing to quit tends to decline.

Most of the decline in total separations in September was due to a 45,000 decrease in the number of layoffs and discharges. The number of layoffs and discharges in September totaled 41,000 compared to 63,000 last year. 

The low number of layoffs and discharges may indicate that employers are reluctant to lose workers, because they need their current level of workers to maintain production and are concerned about their ability to replace them with other workers.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Consumers in the Atlanta area saw some slowing of inflation in October although annual increases remained above the national average

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., metropolitan area rose 10.7% in the 12 months ending in October according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because BLS publishes the full CPI index only every two months for the Atlanta area, there is no comparable 12-month increase available for the year ending in September. For the 12 months ending in August, the all-items index rose 11.7%.

Nationally, consumer prices rose 0.4% over the month and 7.7% for the 12 months ending in October.

Food at home

Consumers in the Atlanta area saw no net increase in their costs for food at home in October after seeing a 1.0% increase in September. October was the first month since last November that consumers had seen no increase in their monthly grocery bill. For the 12 months ending in October, food at home costs rose 14.0%, below the 15.5% increase posted for the year ending in September.

Shelter

Costs for shelter in the Atlanta area rose 0.7% in October after increasing 1.0% the previous month. For the 12 months ending in October, the index rose 13.2%.

In October, rents increased 0.5% over the month. Since last October, rents in the Atlanta area have risen 12.2%.

Owners’ equivalent rent of residences advanced 0.8% in October, smaller than the 1.3% rise recorded in September. Over the past 12 months, owners’ equivalent rent has grown by 14.0%, the same annual increase recorded in September.

Gasoline

Gasoline prices continued to decline in October although at a slower pace. Over the month, gasoline prices in the Atlanta area dropped 1.5% after declining 13.6% and 8.1% in August and September, respectively.

For the 12 months ending in October, gasoline prices rose 3.4%, as the Georgia governor continued his moratorium on the state’s fuel tax. The annual increase was the smallest recorded since January 2021 and follows 19 consecutive months of annual increases in the double digits.

Atlanta compared to the U.S.

Nationwide in October, costs for food at home increased 0.5% over the month and rose 12.4% over the year.

Looking at national data, rent increased 0.8% in October and increased 7.5% for the 12 months ending in October.

Owners’ equivalent rent of residences increased 0.7% over the month for the nation and rose 6.9% over the past year.

Gasoline prices moved up 3.1% in October nationwide resulting in a 17.5% rise since last October.