Georgia jobless rate lowest in decades, but workers quitting clouds good news | GEORGIA RECORDER
Fewer Georgians filed initial unemployment insurance claims last month than in the weeks leading up to the pandemic last year, and the state’s unemployment rate hit 3.2%, a 20-year low.
Those are two welcome signs of economic recovery after record-breaking layoffs sent workers home across the state, but celebrations of those numbers should be tempered by the large number of Georgians quitting their jobs and not seeking new employment…
That difference equals more than 88,000 people no longer on the job since the start of the pandemic, said Georgia Center for Opportunity director of research Erik Randolph.
“But even this does not describe the full extent of the problem,” Randolph said. “Georgia’s economy was humming before the pandemic, and accounting for Georgia’s employment growth prior to the recession, around 240,000 workers have disappeared from the labor force. This shows that we still have much work to do to reinvigorate our economy and help people find employment that allows them to support themselves and their families and better their communities.”
“We do have some decent data on why people were not going to work in between August and September. We saw a small uptick in the number of people who said that they don’t want to be employed, but much larger increases in the number of people who said that they weren’t working because they themselves were sick, or they were caring for someone with COVID-19 symptoms,” he said. “The number of people who were not working because they were worried about getting sick also doubled, and these are statistics specifically for Georgia.”