The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced this week that the unemployment rate dropped for all metropolitan service areas, regions, and counties in Georgia for the month of August. This week, Georgia was recognized with the seventh lowest unemployment rate in the nation. The six states with a lower unemployment rate (Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Vermont, and North Dakota) have a combined labor force of 4.7 million, less than Georgia’s total of 4.9 million.
“As we continue to rebound from the economic devastation of COVID-19, we have seen our unemployment rate plummet the past several months on the statewide level and across Georgia in all of our cities and communities,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “With one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, we will continue to support Georgians with unemployment and now re-employment services.”
Today, over 161,000 jobs are listed online at EmployGeorgia.com for Georgians to access. Jobs range from nurses paying $10 – $55 per hour to welders earning up to $36 per hour to business analysts paying $14 to $20 per hour. Annual salaries listed on the site reflect jobs earning $50k to over $155k for plumbers, cyber security managers, and software developers.
The GDOL offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and assisting with other reemployment needs. GDOL Employment Services staff have made direct contact with employers asking them to clearly indicate on their job order if a position can be worked remotely, even if partially remote, to help meet their workforce needs. Adding this level of detail to their job order could significantly increase their job seeker candidate pool.
“These listings sometimes represent multiple positions for the same job posting meaning hundreds of thousands of jobs for Georgians,” said Commissioner Butler. “We have highly experienced staff to help get Georgians back into the workforce and business owners are looking for employees to fill critical positions as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”
The Georgia Department of Labor has paid almost $14 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. Last week, the GDOL issued $366 million in benefits, which included regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.
Eligible claimants received their final round of supplemental payments this week for the six weeks of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. LWA is a program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund. LWA allowed distribution of an additional $300 weekly supplement to eligible individuals receiving UI benefits from state and federal unemployment insurance programs for weeks ending August 1 through September 5. GDOL issued LWA benefit payments to 623,720 claimants totaling over $968 million.
From week ending 3/21/2020 through 9/19/2020, 3,738,365 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the last eight years combined (3.3 million). Of those, 2,493,560 were employer filed claims (67%), and 1,244,805 were individual claims. For week ending Sept. 19, initial claims totaled 49,421, up 7,341 from the prior week.
The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending Sept. 19 was 870,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 866,000.
From week ending 3/21/2020 through 9/12/2020, the sectors with the most regular UI initial claims processed included Accommodation and Food Services, 896,606, Health Care and Social Assistance, 434,738, Retail Trade, 398,924, Administrative and Support Services, 317,504, and Manufacturing, 289,430.
At this time, GDOL career centers are remaining closed to the public. All online services are still available as the staff continues to answer calls, process claims, respond to customer inquiries, and provide assistance to applicants. The GDOL will reopen offices to the public as soon as social distancing can be effectively implemented to protect both staff and customers.
Information on filing an unemployment claim, details on how employers can file partial claims, and resources for other reemployment assistance can be found on the agency’s webpage at dol.georgia.gov.