Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Georgia's August 2012 Unemployment Rate Unchanged (9.2%)

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By Curt Allan

The State of Georgia's August 2012 unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.2%. This is the 2nd straight month at 9.2% and also matches January for the highest rate for Georgia in 2012. For the month, there were an estimated 439,700 workers unemployed in the state. This is up by approximately 1,500 over July 2012. There were also around 2,400 fewer workers employed in Georgia, and just under 1,000 fewer in the total workforce in August. These (comparatively) small changes in comparison with July caused the flat unemployment rate in August.

Georgia's current unemployment rate is 0.7% lower than the rate one year ago in August 2011. Back in 2011 there were roughly 469,700 unemployed workers in the state. When compared with the 2011 number there are currently over 30,000 less unemployed workers in Georgia. There are also around 64,200 more people employed in the state in 2012 vs. 2011. There's also been a rise in the total Georgia workforce in the past 12 months of over 34,000. These major changes have resulted in the notable drop in Georgia's unemployment rate over the past year. In comparison to the national average, however, Georgia's August rate remains much higher (1.1%) than the U.S. average of just 8.1%.

Georgia still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the South. The States of Tennessee (8.5%), Florida (8.8%), Alabama (8.5%), and Mississippi (9.1%) all have lower rates in than Georgia in August 2012. Only the State of South Carolina (at 9.6%) has a higher August unemployment rate. However, just like Georgia, many of the states in the region have also been experiencing higher unemployment rates in the past few months.

When we look at the employment statistics for Georgia's major business sectors in August we see that the month was mixed. Several industries had employment gains include Manufacturing, Information, Education & Health Services, and Leisure & Hospitality. Businesses that were lower in August were Construction, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, and Government. The industry with the best 12 month employment gain was Professional & Business Services (up 4.8%). The business sector with the biggest decline was Construction (down 6.7%). The major business sector with the highest employment numbers in August was in Trade, Transportation & Utilities with approximately 842,800 employed. Second in August was Government with around 665,000 employed.

Later this month the September employment numbers for Georgia will be published. We'll once again review the state's industries and how it compares to the past and to it's neighbors. Please understand that previously announced employment numbers may be edited at a later date.

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