Region and state have record unemployment rates


Recent figures released by Georgia’s 12 regional commissions show historically low unemployment rates.

The Central Savannah River Regional Commission, which includes Jefferson and Glascock counties, as well as Burke, Columbia, Hancock, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington and Wilkes counties, reported that the rate November’s preliminary unemployment rate had fallen to 2.5 percent during the month. This is a decrease of three tenths compared to the previous month and of 5.2% in November 2020.

“We have the highest number of Georgians employed in the history of our state,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. “Regarding the new year, our goal is to attract more people to join the labor market in 2022.”

According to labor statistics and economic research from the Georgia Department of Labor, about 2,600 people live outside of Jefferson County but commute to work.  More than 3,900 Jefferson County residents work in the surrounding counties.

Greg Sellars, executive director of the Jefferson County Development Authority, said he’s been following the same trends.

“I think after two years of pure chaos people are going back to their daily lives and that includes going out, going to work to earn a salary to support their families,” Sellars said.

Sellars keeps its own records by comparing month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations in unemployment and the labor market.

“In October, Georgia was at 5.3 and now we’re at 2.4. And that’s a good thing, ”Sellars said. “One of our challenges here is the low population density. I know of at least two of our aggressively and actively expanding industries that need more people and they can’t seem to get them.

Across the region, the labor force declined by 460 during the month and fell to 207,614, down 3,721 since November 2020.

“The low population density is one of our challenges,” Sellar said. “A Target retail store won’t come here because we don’t have 100,000 people within a 5 mile radius. It makes it difficult for employers to find employees, but I know tons of people travel to work here.

According to labor statistics and economic research from the Georgia Department of Labor, about 2,600 people live outside of Jefferson County but commute to work. More than 3,900 Jefferson County residents work in the surrounding counties.

Sellars said he talks all the time with local industries that want to grow but are hampered by a lack of manpower.

And he sees it as a problem everywhere right now, not just in local counties, not just in the region or state, but across the country.

“I heard in a radio interview, an analyst from North Carolina, in a particular region there were 25,000 positions available, but there were only 9,000 unemployed in that region,” Sellars said. . “So if those 9,000 were to go out to find work, there would still be 15,000 available.”

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said his office will focus on attracting more people to join the workforce in 2022.
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