Unemployment rate dropping, but it still has a long way to goAs our community, state and nation emerge from the economic doldrums of the past half decade, one of the stubborn problems has been high unemployment, which soared into double digits. While the jobless numbers have been slow to come down, they have been declining.
State Labor officials said this week that Georgia unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in April, the first time in more than three years (since January 2009) the statewide rate has been below 9 percent. A year ago, the Georgia jobless rate was 9.8 percent.
“We now have the lowest unemployment rate, the fewest unemployed workers, and the most jobs in Georgia in more than three years, said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our job market continues to improve at a modest and steady rate.”
That’s good news, but we need those numbers to continue to decline. There are simply too many people looking for jobs in our community and throughout Georgia.
Which employment sectors are showing jobs growth? Trade and transportation, 9,200; leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 5,900; construction, 3,400; and education and healthcare, 2,700. While the state gained jobs overall, state and local governments shed 3,300 jobs.
These numbers indeed are encouraging, and here in Coweta County unemployment is even better than the state as a whole. In March, the latest local numbers available, unemployment in Coweta had fallen to 7.9 percent. That was the lowest since December 2008 when the upward climb began and peaked at 11 percent in June 2009.
While all of these numbers show a positive trend developing toward improved employment, our community remains a long way from the under 5 percent unemployment rate we enjoyed for most of the period from 2000 to early 2008.