According to a US Department of Labor report, Georgia ranks 22nd in the nation in timeliness for all first payments for initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims while ranking first among the top 22 states for number of claims processed. Georgia reports releasing first payments to 75.5% of claimants with initial claims within 21 days outpacing the national average of 66.4%. This USDOL metric is used to judge timeliness of payments during normal, non-pandemic times. The state’s 4,605,425 initial claims processed since March 2020 accounts for 20% of the total claims of the top 22 states on the list and is greater than the combined totals of the top seven states on the list: MN – 1.2 million, LA – 1.3 million, WY – 78,000, RI – 305,000, ND – 118,000, VA – 1.4 million, and MT – 180,000. Florida has processed only 100,000 more claims than Georgia, but has only issued first payments to less than 38% of initial UI claimants in the same 21 day time period.
“No state has processed and paid as many claims as we have at a faster pace,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We have received some tough scrutiny lately for the small percentage of claims not paid that may not even be eligible for payment.”
Georgia’s processed claims numbers outpace other states on the list by as much as 4.5 million claims. Minnesota ranks first with a timeliness percentage of 92.9, but has processed only a quarter of the claims that Georgia has handled. Wyoming, third on the list, has processed 77,602 claims during the pandemic, the amount of claims Georgia processes every three weeks.
“We have way too much focus on longer, richer UI benefits and not enough emphasis on getting individuals back in the workplace,” said Commissioner Butler. “We are hearing from employers every day who are looking for quality employees to fill full-time positions that offer benefits and a stable income.”
Today, over 186,000 jobs are listed online https://bit.ly/36EA2vk for Georgians to access. These listings could include multiple positions for each job indicating a much higher number of jobs available. The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs. Resources for reemployment assistance along with information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at https://bit.ly/2ZudL0c.
The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that Georgians have received more than $18.7 billion since March 21 of 2020, more than the past 41 years combined. Last week, the GDOL dispersed over $280 million in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits including regular unemployment insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), State Extended Benefits (SEB), and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year, the GDOL has processed 4,444,838 regular UI initial claims, more than the combined last nine years prior to the pandemic (4.0 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 25,447, down 1,085 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 347,165 active PUA claims.
The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 5,520, Administrative and Support Services, 3,045, Manufacturing, 2,226, Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,183, and Retail Trade, 1,858.
The number of initial claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending Feb. 20 was 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 841,000.
UI benefits are taxable income and 1099-G tax forms are issued in accordance with federal law to report payments and all taxes withheld during each tax year. If you received a 1099-G tax form and did not file a UI claim yourself or your employer did not file one on your behalf, you may be the victim of UI fraud and should report the incident on the GDOL website at https://www.dol.state.ga.us/public/uiben/fraud/reportType. Select Report 1099 ID Theft at the bottom and follow the instructions. If you received a 1099-G tax form and returned the benefits or wish to return the benefits, please see detailed instructions on next steps at https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/form-1099-g-tax-information.
For more information on jobs and current labor force date, visit the Georgia Labor Force Market Explorer at https://bit.ly/3ayIPjd to view a comprehensive report.