Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

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Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

 A week after reporting Georgia’s June seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit an all-time low, new numbers show the state’s unemployment rate increased.

Last week, officials said Georgia’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2022 was 2.9%, below the national rate of 3.6%. The state’s rate decreased from 5.4% in June 2021…

“There has never been a time when the Business Cycle Dating Committee did not declare a recession when real GDP declined for two consecutive quarters since the availability of quarterly GDP data,” Erik Randolph, director of research for the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), said in a statement. “In fact, the opposite is true. There have been two times, since the availability of the data, without two consecutive real GDP declines when the Committee declared them to be recessions. This happened with their declared 1960 and 2001 recessions.

“Who knows if and when the NBER Committee will declare whether we’re already in a recession, and for how long,” Randolph added. “But if it doesn’t declare so despite the real GDP data, it would be unprecedented and require a good explanation. In the meantime, GDP gives perhaps the broadest measure of economic activity, giving a strong signal that we’re in a recession until such time economists work out their various methodologies to affirm or deny.”

Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

Biden denies recession after GDP decline, but economists say otherwise

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Biden denies recession after GDP decline, but economists say otherwise

The U.S. economy has shrunk for six consecutive months, according to federal data released Thursday. which led many economists to declare a recession. But the Biden administration is pushing back, arguing the U.S. is not in a recession after all…

“There has never been a time when the Business Cycle Dating Committee did not declare a recession when real GDP declined for two consecutive quarters since the availability of quarterly GDP data,” said Erik Randolph, the Georgia Center for Opportunity’s director of research. “In fact, the opposite is true. There have been two times, since the availability of the data, without two consecutive real GDP declines when the Committee declared them to be recessions. This happened with their declared 1960 and 2001 recessions.”

Randolph said not declaring a recession this time would be “unprecedented.”

“Who knows if and when the NBER Committee will declare whether we’re already in a recession, and for how long,” he added. “But if it doesn’t declare so despite the real GDP data, it would be unprecedented and require a good explanation. In the meantime, GDP gives perhaps the broadest measure of economic activity, giving a strong signal that we’re in a recession until such time economists work out their various methodologies to affirm or deny.”

 
Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

Amid Recession Fears, Economically Free States Continue to Outperform

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Amid Recession Fears, Economically Free States Continue to Outperform

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently responded to questions about California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ads airing in Florida, “It’s almost hard to drive people out of a place like California given all their natural advantages, and yet they are finding a way to do it.” He noted that California is hemorrhaging its population because of bad progressive economic policies so that they could be more free

Florida ranks third in the nation for economic freedom, according to the Fraser Institute. And California ranks second to last…

What the June inflation numbers mean for the poor

What the June inflation numbers mean for the poor

rising prices for gas

What the June inflation numbers mean for the poor

Key Points

  • BLS reports, some of the biggest increases in prices were soon for essentials like gas for your car and groceries for your kitchen table.
  • A new price floor has been established.
  • A way forward involves, curtail federal deficit spending and adopting supply-side economic policies. 

The inflationary environment in the U.S. and around the world continues to go from bad to worse. On July 13, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics announced that in June the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.3%, not seasonally adjusted. That means, year over year, the CPI is now up 9.1%, which is the fastest pace of inflation in over four decades.

As the BLS reports, some of the biggest increases in prices were soon for essentials like gas for your car and groceries for your kitchen table: 

“The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food being the largest contributors. The energy index rose 7.5 percent over the month and contributed nearly half of the all items increase, with the gasoline index rising 11.2 percent and the other major component indexes also rising. The food index rose 1.0 percent in June, as did the food at home index.”

 

The poor are hit hardest

The sad reality is that inflation shows few, if any, signs of lessening anytime soon. As we’ve said so many times before, the hardest hit are the poorest among us. 

For example, a recent survey revealed the alarming truth that some families are skipping meals to deal with raging inflation. While inflation is inconvenient for the upper middle class and wealthy and concerning for the middle class, it’s downright devastating for the working class and poor.

Meanwhile, wage increases are lagging behind price increases. People are falling further and further behind.

 

A new floor for prices

What’s even more devastating than spiking inflation month-in, month-out is the new price level. As the Georgia Center for Opportunity’s director of research Erik Randolph points out, inflation is only part of the equation. We should also be focusing on the price level, which is defined as the new “floor” for the prices we all pay in the economy. 

A gallon of milk might’ve cost $2.99 a year ago, for example, but now it’s $3.99. That new price is not going down, even as inflation eventually abates. A new price floor has been established and it becomes ingrained in our minds that a gallon of milk simply costs $4.

Simply put, leaving the price level elevated means we are leaving the economically disadvantaged further behind, exacerbating the economic divide in our nation.

 

A way forward

There are a number of public policy prescriptions that Randolph suggests for curbing inflation:

  • Curtail federal deficit spending.
  • Adopt supply-side economic policies, ones that cut red tape to reduce unnecessary government regulations, making it easier for entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses and for investors to take risks investing in business.

In our communities, initiatives such as BETTER WORK in the Atlanta and Columbus metro areas are also foundational to helping people find meaningful work, work that pays a living wage to better cope with highly inflationary times.

Georgia non-adjusted unemployment numbers increase as economy dips into possible recession

Local Nonprofit Breaking Down Barriers to Poverty | Peachtree Corners Magazine

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Local Nonprofit Breaking Down Barriers to Poverty | Peachtree Corners Magazine

With gas prices soaring and supply chain issues driving up consumer prices, it’s not hard to imagine more individuals are struggling to make ends meet. Complicate those issues with a lack of education, medical issues, trouble within the home or other barriers to success and you find some families hanging by a thread. Some find themselves homeless.

The Peachtree Corners-based Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) is working to break down those barriers to ensure everyone has access to a quality education, fulfilling work and a healthy family life.

 
America’s Labor Force Problem Goes Beyond Economics

America’s Labor Force Problem Goes Beyond Economics

woman on steps frustrated about work

America’s Labor Force Problem Goes Beyond Economics

Key Points

  • Separation from the workforce is impacting mental, physical and social health of our communities.
  • Some employees are choosing to leave or refuse work to stay ahead on bills.
  • Government safety-net programs must be reconfigured to move people into work for both economic & social well-being.

Originally Posted on Real Clear Politics

 

One legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic could be the devastation it brought to the American worker by disconnecting millions from the workforce.

New research estimates that 3 million workers plan to remain permanently sidelined over concerns of physical illness or physical impairment due to COVID-19.

The research team named this phenomenon “Long Social Distancing” and found that more than 13% of Americans who worked in 2019 plan to continue social distancing after the pandemic ends. An additional 46% will engage in limited forms of social distancing.

The study estimates the depressed labor force participation from Long Social Distancing will dampen Gross Domestic Product by 1.4%. But the impact on individuals and their families will be far worse.

Separation from the labor force obviously means less income and financial security for the individual’s future. But there are other costs from nonwork that extend beyond the financial disadvantages, including long-term mental, physical, and social health impacts for workers, their children, their families, and their communities.

Simply put, our labor force situation today is a social, mental, and community crisis in the making. That’s particularly true for the poor and working class.

Kevin discovered that work is more than a paycheck.

Kevin discovered that work is more than a paycheck.

During the pandemic, the so-called “laptop class” of professional workers fared fairly well. They were able to maintain social distance from others while still working to earn income. Many of these workers found that remote jobs allowed them to create a healthier work-life balance, so they abandoned their former desk jobs in favor of a more flexible lifestyle.

In stark contrast, working-class adults who couldn’t perform their jobs from home have been hit hard. Those who continued to work were often placed at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Others suffered more because their employers shut down, resulting in a devastating loss of income. Many small business owners suffered income loss and in some cases were forced to close their businesses permanently.

According to the Long Social Distancing study, the majority of Americans who don’t plan to return to work have a high school education or less (17.6%). Unemployment tended to decrease based on both education level and income, with the highest number of labor non-participation among those who previously earned $10,000 to $20,000 per year. Nonwork was highest among females aged 50-64 (17.5%), followed by male respondents of the same age group (12.9%).

It follows, then, that the most significant impact labor non-participation will have on America lies among lower-income communities — many of whom were likely already struggling to make ends meet.

Federal stimulus programs have been important to these individuals, helping them weather the combined storm of the virus and government-imposed lockdowns and shutdowns. Although these government programs sustained many people throughout the crisis, they also created major problems as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic.

Some unemployed people found that they were better off leaving their jobs and receiving government assistance instead. In many cases, unemployment benefits paid better than the jobs they’d previously occupied. This aggravated pre-existing issues with labor force non-participation, helping to fuel inflation as work stoppages led to disruptions in the supply-chain flow of goods and services.

Worsening the problem even more, many Americans experienced so-called “benefit cliffs” where their government support, such as food stamps, fell off in response to an increase in income. In some cases, families lost government benefits after a comparatively small pay raise. This creates additional disincentives for work.

So, what’s the path forward? In order to get unemployed adults back to work, we’ll need a change in perspective. Work must be regarded as something worthwhile in itself beyond a weekly or biweekly paycheck, because it is. A steady job gives each worker a sense of purpose, provides a stable life to their families, and helps maintain mental health.

Nonwork has a direct impact on children not only in the present, but as research shows it can impact their future, too. It creates perpetuating cycles of dependency that lead to instability for the children in these homes. This creates a systemic crisis in marginalized communities. If our goal is truly to overcome generational poverty, creating a culture that uplifts and prizes work is essential.

It’s essential to address safety-net programs as part of the solution. Programs that help in the immediate aftermath of job loss are not enough. In addition to meeting immediate needs — such as unemployment assistance and food — unemployed individuals need support and encouragement to know that work is beneficial to our mental and social health. 

And importantly, safety net programs cannot create disincentives from earning more money and getting ahead in society. Government programs need to be reconfigured so they no longer interfere with the upward economic mobility of individuals and their families. They need to consider the overall well-being of the recipients and their families over the long-term, not just the short-term.

Our ultimate goal should be to help those sidelined by the pandemic reconnect to work — not only for their economic health, but for their mental and emotional wellbeing.