Saturday, December 31, 2022

Georgia work-related fatalities decline in 2021 but work-related violence dramatically increased

The number of people killed in work-related incidents in Georgia dropped by 3.1% in 2021 according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2021, 187 workers lost their lives related to their employment in Georgia. 

The decline is noteworthy in that Georgia’s employment grew by 4.9% between 2020 and 2021. The decline in Georgia work-related deaths contrasts with a 8.9% increase for the nation. 

Transportation-related incidents continued to account for the largest number of fatalities and were responsible for 40% of work-related deaths in the state.

Homicides accounted for 16% of all work-related fatalities in Georgia with violent incidents increasing 60% over the year.


Construction remains a significant industry for fatalities with 40workers killed in 2021 compared to 37 the prior year.

The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector saw 11 fatalities in 2021, down from 12 in the previous year.

Employment in trucking was considerably less deadly in 2021, with 17 workers dying in 2021 compared to 30 deaths the previous year.

Workers in government occupations – federal, state, and local governments – experienced 16 work-related deaths. Of that total, 8 work-related deaths occurred to police officers in Georgia.


Transportation-related events continued to account for the greatest number of work-related fatalities in Georgia during 2021. Of the 187 fatalities, 76 were transportation related. These included roadway incidents (40), pedestrians hit by vehicles (16), non-roadway incidents involving vehicles (11), and incidents involving aircraft (8). The number of deaths due to roadway incidents declined by 8 over the year, while the number of fatalities due to non-roadway incidents rose by 4.

Work-related deaths related to violence were up sharply in 2021, rising to 37 from 23 in the previous year. Of the 37 deaths, 30 were homicides in 2021, up from 12 the previous year. Most of the homicides occurred by intentional shootings (25). Nationally, homicides accounted for 9% of work-related fatalities in 2021. In Georgia, they represented 16% of all work-related deaths.

Exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 31 deaths, an increase of 10 over the prior year. Death by unintentional overdose (nonmedical use) of drugs or alcohol accounted for 15 deaths, while accidental electrocution was the cause of 8 of the fatalities.

All other events or exposures were listed as the cause of the remaining fatalities.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Atlanta area employment up, unemployment rate down in November

Atlanta area jobs grew by 7,300 in November 2022, after seasonal adjustment, according to new information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The area’s unemployment rate fell to 2.7%.


The area’s unemployment rate declined as the number of unemployed workers dropped by 6,800 and the number of employed rose by 1,001 over the month. Most of the decline in the number of unemployed was due to the number of people choosing to leave the labor force (5,799) rather than actively seek new work.

For the 12 months ending in November, the Atlanta area has seen its labor force grow by nearly 40,000, while the number of unemployed persons has declined by almost 4,900. As a result, the area’s unemployment rate has moved down 0.2% since November 2021.


Before seasonal adjustment, the number of nonfarm jobs in the Atlanta area rose by 18,200, the lowest increase in November since 2015. Of the total number of jobs recorded in November, 18,100 were in the private sector.

Employment sectors adding jobs in November included retail trade (4,900), transportation and warehousing (3,800), leisure and hospitality (3,800), information (2,300), health care and social assistance (1,800), and wholesale trade (1,500). Except for wholesale trade and information, these other sectors added fewer jobs this November than for the comparable month in 2021.

Employment in professional and business services declined by 1,000 in November in contrast to the sector adding 600 jobs in November 2021.

With the most recent additions, the Atlanta area remains home to more than 3 million nonfarm jobs, the highest level ever achieved for the area.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Georgia GDP and Personal Income rise in the 3rd Quarter of 2022

  • Georgia’s Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.9% in the third quarter of 2022
  • Personal income in Georgia increased 6.7% in the third quarter of 2022


Georgia’s real GDP rose by 2.9% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to a 3.2% rise nationally, according to statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The percent change in real GDP ranged from 8.7% in Alaska to -0.7% in Mississippi. For the Southeast, the increase was 2.6%. 

Georgia’s real GDP increase in the third quarter compares to a -0.7% decline experienced by the state in the second quarter of the year. 

Current-dollar GDP increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the third quarter, with the percent change ranging from 10.4 percent in Oregon to 2.3 percent in North Dakota.

Personal Income

Personal income in Georgia rose by 6.7% in the third quarter of 2022 following a 9.6% increase in the second quarter. Nationally, personal income rose by 5.3% in the third quarter, while personal income in the Southeast advanced 5.5%. 

Personal income increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the third quarter, with the percent change ranging from 14.2 percent in Colorado to 1.4 percent in Kentucky. 

In Georgia, the 6.7% increase reflected a 4.1% increase in net earnings, 1.1% rise in dividends interest, and rent, and a 1.5% increase in transfer receipts. 

Earnings increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, increasing 6.5 percent nationally. The percent change in earnings ranged from 8.5% in Texas to 3.2% in Indiana. Net earnings are earnings by place of work—the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors' income—less contributions for government social insurance plus an adjustment to convert earnings by place of work to a place-of-residence basis. 

Property income increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, increasing 5.5% nationally. The percent change ranged from 8.1% in Idaho to 3.0% in Kansas. 

Transfer receipts increased in 28 states, increasing 1.0% nationally. The percent change in transfer receipts ranged from 79.7% in Colorado to –7.9% in Kentucky. Transfer receipts consist of government social benefits to persons for which no current services are performed. 

Although transfer receipts had minimal impact nationally, it was the leading contributor to increases in personal income in Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and Idaho, the states with the largest increases in personal income. Temporary state refundable tax credits in these states and other states resulted in above-average increases in transfer receipts in the third quarter.


Friday, December 16, 2022

Georgia employment and unemployment remains stable in November

 Georgia Labor Force, January 2021 - November 2022

Both the number of jobs created over the month and the state’s unemployment rate were essentially unchanged in November according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment numbers

The state’s unemployment rate in November was 3.0%. Since May, the unemployment rate has fluctuated between 2.8% and 3.0%. In November 2021, the unemployment rate stood at 3.3%.

The state’s labor force has slowly declined since June dropping by more than 27,000 over the past five months reflecting more people leaving the labor market. The slow drop in the labor force explains why the unemployment rate has not risen faster even as the number of people employed has declined by more than 28,000.

Nonfarm employment

The number of nonfarm jobs in the state was essentially unchanged in November. Since November 2021, the number of jobs has increased by 182,200 (3.9%).

Employment growth was robust over the first nine months of 2022, but has essentially stalled in October and November with no net growth in the latest two-month period.

Most of the employment growth over the past year has occurred in the private sector, which saw its numbers increase by 163,200 (4.1%) over the past 12 months, although this growth has shown a slight decline in the most recent two-month period.

In contrast, government employment, which has improved only modestly for most of this year, continues to slowly grow. Since November 2022, government employment in Georgia (federal, state, and local governments combined) has risen by 19,000 (2.8%).

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Georgia sees unexpected jump in layoffs and discharges in October

After a number of months of improvements in the state’s labor market, Georgia saw a sudden reversal in October with the number of layoffs and discharges jumping to 60,000 from 43,000 in the prior month, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In contrast, the number of job openings, hires, and total separations (including quits) were statistically unchanged over the month.

Over-the-year changes in Georgia

In October, the number of job openings in the state stood at 400,000 compared to 426,000 a year ago.

The state recorded 241,000 hires in October compared to 253,000 in the same month last year.

Total separations, which includes quits, retirements, and involuntary separations, were 241,000 as opposed to 215,000 last year. Within the total separations category, 173,000 people chose to quit their jobs in October compared to 143,000 for the same month a year ago. Layoffs and discharges were 60,000 compared to 55,000 last year at the same time.

Nationally, layoffs and discharges netted an increase of 58,000 over the month. Tennessee was the only other state that recorded a significantly large number of involuntary separations in October with layoffs and discharges totaling 24,000 over the month.

One month’s data are not sufficient to establish a trend, but Georgia’s labor market has been very robust even when compared to national trends. Employers have been struggling to find and retain workers with the state’s unemployment rate at 2.9%, so any increase in layoffs and discharges needs to be watched carefully to see if employers’ labor needs have peaked.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Atlanta area consumers continued to see higher food costs in November

Consumers in the metropolitan Atlanta area continued to experience larger than national increases in their costs for food at home in November, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Costs for shelter and gasoline in the Atlanta area moved similarly to comparative indexes nationwide.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a full list of changes in consumer prices for all urban consumers in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., area, not seasonally adjusted, (CPI-U Atlanta) for even-numbered months and publishes a partial list including changes in consumer prices for food at home, shelter, and gasoline in odd-numbered months (January, March, May, July, September, and November).

Food at home

In November, costs for food rose 0.9% in the Atlanta area. The increase comes after there was no recorded increase in food costs in October. Over the 12 months ending in November, food at home costs rose 15.0%. For the nation, food at home costs were unchanged over the month and increased 12.0% for the 12 months ending in November.


Costs for shelter in the Atlanta area rose 0.5% in November after increasing 0.7% the prior month. Over the past year, shelter costs have increased 12.9%. Nationally, shelter costs rose 0.6% in November and had risen 7.1% over the past year.

The CPI index for shelter includes costs incurred by both homeowners and renters and also includes costs for lodging away from home and tenants’ and household insurance.


Gasoline prices declined for the fifth consecutive month, dropping 3.2% in November. For the year, gasoline prices have declined 3.7%. Consumers in the Atlanta area continue to benefit from a suspension of the state’s motor fuel tax, which will continue at least into January according to the State of Georgia.

Nationwide, gasoline costs dropped 3.6% over the month and have risen 10.1% over the past 12 months.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Georgia has weathered the Covid employment loss but not all counties had recovered as of mid-2022

The continuing good news is how Georgia’s employment recovered from Covid-related layoffs and firings, but that overall number ignores how employment changes at the county level has been uneven.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has now released job numbers through June 2022, and even as the state added 136,572 jobs between February 2020 and June 2022, 61 counties out of 159 remained below their pre-Covid employment levels. This comes even as Georgia has outpaced the nation in job creation during that period with the state employment rising by 3%, more than twice the 1.4% recorded nationwide.

Counties losing employment

Of the 61 counties, 17 counties were already losing jobs prior to February 2020, so it is more difficult to say how the Covid-related layoffs affected these counties. One county, Burke, is an outlier in that the massive expansion of the Plant Vogtle nuclear facility has distorted the county’s underlying jobs numbers by pushing them up during the height of construction and then seeing them recede as construction comes closer to a conclusion.

For the remaining 43 counties, the employment losses, while not large when measured statewide, can be significant to local economies.

A county-by-county employment count shows that while many of these counties are in rural parts of the state, some counties struggling with continued job losses include Cherokee, Cobb and Clayton counties in the Atlanta metro area, Clarke County (Athens metro area), Richmond County (Augusta metro area), Muscogee County (Columbus metro area), and Bibb County (Macon metro area).

As a percentage of total county employment, the largest losses have occurred in:

Randolph County -289 (-14.7%)

Montgomery County -223 (-14.0%)

Dooly County -447 (-12.6%)

Taliaferro County -21 (-9.7%)

Jones County -354 (-8.3%)

Sumter County -742 (-6.8%)

For the counties in metro areas of the state, the losses remain significant. Clarke County is showing 4,762 fewer jobs (-6.7%) compared to its February 2020 numbers, Muscogee County -3,883 (-4.1%), Bibb County -3,400 (-4.1%), Clayton County -3,912 (-3.2%), Richmond County -2,535 (-2.4%), Cherokee County -190 (-0.3%), and Cobb County -154 (-0.0%).

In total, the 43 counties have lost 30,926 jobs (-2.2%) from February 2020 to June 2022. Keep in mind that these losses have occurred even though Georgia has outpaced the nation in job growth over the same time period.

Counties gaining employment

While the losers have been overlooked, the counties winning the employment battle have also been ignored. Many of these 16 counties, like many of the losing counties, start from a relatively small employment basis, so small net gains can have a large impact on local economies.

For some counties, such as Coweta, Jackson, and Butts, the large percentage increases reflect the Atlanta area’s continued population expansion as rural counties become drawn more into the Atlanta metro region. Jackson County is a good example of a county located along the I-85 corridor with lower land costs and allowing easy access to the Atlanta, Athens, and Gainesville metro areas for workers willing to commute.

A number of these counties are outside metro areas, some in the North Georgia mountain region such as Rabun and Union counties, and while it is hard to measure the work-from-home (WFH) movement, it is likely having an impact on these counties, as well as the possibility that people choosing retirement after Covid-related closures and layoffs also chose to move to these close-to but not in metro areas for quality-of-life reasons.

Morgan County with its employment growth is somewhat similar to Jackson County since it is located on the I-20 corridor, close to the Athens metro area, and offers a favorable work-from-home as well as a retirement environment.

Counties showing large percentage increases in employment between February 2020 and June 2022 include:

Jackson County 9,404 (29.5%)

Berrien County 673 (20.1%)

Bryan County 1,578 (17.4%)

Morgan County 1,226 (16.7%)

Hart County 823 (12.5%)

Lumpkin County 945 (12.4%)

Coweta County 4,879 (12.0%)

Warren County 156 (11.9%)

Marion County 134 (11.9%)

Butts County 850 (11.6%)

Rabun County 593 (11.3%)

Union County 779 (11.3%)

Clinch County 254 (11.0%)

Decatur County 880 (10.8%)

Candler County 348 (10.6%)

Long County 104 (10.1%)


Georgia has certainly benefited from the nation’s economic recovery, post-Covid employment gains, but that benefit has not been shared equally among all of the state’s 159 counties. Some are well-positioned for the next downturn in the economy, if one comes, while others have still not recovered from previous losses. It remains to be seen how state policies will affect these separate groups of counties moving forward in to 2023.