March 19, 2009 8:01 am

by Jeff Emanuel · 13 comments

Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.3% in February according to the Department of Labor.  With unemployment at its highest level since record keeping was standardized in 1976 (h/t AJC for that detail), the Peach State remains in worse shape unemployment-wise than the national average of 8.1% but still well ahead labor loss leader Michigan’s last-reported 11.6% (new numbers from the state that looks like a mitten, which are expected to be even worse than that, should be out later this morning).

According to the AJC, “445,498 unemployed Georgians are now seeking work, up 69 percent from a year ago.” This can tell us two things: first, there are obviously fewer jobs to go around at the present time. Second, the folks who are rounding out the unemployment rolls now are actual workers, who are making an effort to get back into the workforce wherever they can.

Unsurprisingly at a time when the federal government is printing and borrowing money hand over fist and shoveling it to the states in the form of earmarks and bailouts, the small number of jobs gained were working for federal, state, or local governments. In that vein, Georgia Labor commissioner Michael Thurmond’s suggestion to those looking for work was, quite simply, to go back to school or work for the government.

Almost all jobs lost in February were in the private sector.

Goldwater Conservative March 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

Isn’t there a hiring moratorium for Georgia’s State Government?

While it hardly ranks a full percentage, a number of municipalities and counties have been laying off employees…including teachers.

This all sucks. It sucks bad. Things haven’t been this bad since Nixon…well, we need to add the continued recession into the 80s from Carter’s negligence.

When all is said and done, the government can not be blamed for everything that has been going wrong for the past couple of months. The bailouts and and stimulus packages, if anything, have had somewhat of a margin stabilizing effect on the markets.

In the end, speculators and consumers panicked and caused most of these problems. Deregulation of housing did create the bubble in the first place…then greed finished it up.

I still find it funny, at times. All the finger pointing. Fact is, this is not political and it is not ideological. What happened is free market capitalism. Neither democrats nor republicans are to blame…if anything both are to blame for not enough oversight and not enough regulation.

It is nothing new either. Short selling and market speculation, unlike credit default swaps, have existed since the 17th century when the first market system was created. They existed when the first exchanges were opened up in America. These mechanisms have been the tools of feudalism in the United States…but they are too complicated for well over 90% of people to understand. And everybody is taken advantage of…even the wealthy in many cases.

Just look at the oil prices post Katrina and up to the summer of last year. The dedicated Limbaugh listeners and Fox News watchers probably still blame the democrats…all the while Murdoch and Rush were making millions off the people who are really to blame: market speculators. Neither party had anything to do with it…only when ideas of taxing the windfall profits started being seriously discussed was the party over.

This unemployment picture is sad. Why Joe Steel worker is out of a job and the executives of any company that received TARP funds still have jobs is beyond me. Rick Wagoner earned $1.5million last year (not including stock options and bonuses)…and he has been running GM into the ground. Meanwhile, some assembly line worker doing his job correctly and ethically gets fired.

The right wing has consistently fought ethics as being socialist. Keep it up. No matter what the democratic party puts forth in the next 2 years…no matter what Obama does in the next 3, the GOP will continued to be blamed for all of this. Especially with the increasingly sharp rhetoric. The spin game for the political center and left will be much easier now that the GOPers that make the news have stated flat out that patriotism is socialism.

Doug Deal March 19, 2009 at 11:30 am


When you come back from Bizarro world, give us another report on how things work on Earth.

Bill Simon March 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm


I think GC has permanently inhaled too much acetone to leave Bizarro World.

Rick Day March 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm

No Bill, more like Walking on Sunshine, than tripping on Acetone. Google it. Learn something new.

The GOP SHOULD be blamed for this mess. Period.

Seems like very day on my blog list, someone has either been laid off, down-sized to eliminate benefits (contract employees), or their spouses or children have experienced the same.

It is a good time to be in ‘discount anything’. Our discount event rental venue continues to grow, and we are expanding as we creep around the carcasses of fallen dinosaurs in the Hospitality Industry, due to their immense masses and overheads.

Kellie March 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

GC- “if anything both are to blame for not enough oversight and not enough regulation.”

Good God man, are you insane?
Too much oversight and too much regulation has ruined business. The government loves to regulate what it knows nothing about. If Congress would get out of the way, business and the economy would thrive.

They are all to blame. We need to clear out Congress!

Doug Deal March 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm


Washington should be blamed for it. From Bush and his treasury secretary down talking the economy and using worlds like depression to the using a manufactured climate of “crisis” to get agenda items Rahm-ed through Congress from the Obama team.

Bush might have had his hand in it, but Obama and the newly emboldened Democratic Congress has run with it and made it there own. Come 2012, if things are not significantly better, it will be a 100 pound weight strapped to the President’s leg. Roosevelt was not blamed for the GD because Hoover owned it for 3 years. This recession, like the one that started under Clinton, happened so close to the end of Bush’s term that it will fall squarely on the next President, whether it is fair or not.

Goldwater Conservative March 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Kellie, stop drinking the kool aid. This recession is the direct result of deregulation of the housing industry. I suggest you invest enough into an industry to actually understand how this stuff works.

The dot com bubble crashing can’t really be blamed on Clinton. It has much more to do with 9/11.

Anybody watch Obamas speech the other day? He said something very important and it should be a universally help belief. We, as a country, can not afford to continue to move forward with a bubble based economy.

Reregulating, or deincentivizing, certain behavior is absolutely necessary. Our government is constitutionally obligated to do so. The next bubble will probably be energy. When that bursts we are screwed…even in terms of national security.

For a decade now, the accumulation of wealth in the country has become a zero-sum game. I cashed out of the markets last September (sorry, liquidated…cashing out is what you do in a casino). I felt morally obligated to stop making money off of poor and middle class people losing their jobs. And yes, that is how publicly traded companies often shore up cash for shareholders when the jig is up.

Doug, you might be right though. Bush I was blamed for the recession Reagan started. It remains unclear though. Reagan was popular when his administration ended and people only blamed BushI. The memory of the electorate is not going to forget what the GOP and Bush II did by 2012. Obama can literally play the “I inherited this problem” card well until the campaign season of 2012.

The economy has never been, and will not likely ever be, a strong suit for the GOP. Just as national security is not the dems. cup of tea. It will be a rather easy campaign for Obama regarding that issue…because “we can not go back to the policies and practices of negligence and courtship of deregulation hungry Wall St. executives.”

2012 is a life time away though.

joe March 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm

“Reregulating, or deincentivizing, certain behavior is absolutely necessary. Our government is constitutionally obligated to do so. ”

I can send you a copy of the Constitution if you actually want to read it.

Kellie March 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about all of this. What I do know is Congress has continually over reached its boundaries causing damage to this country. They feel the need to micro manage industries that they know very little about. They are the real problem here. Congress is full of crooks that are trying to make the wealthy the enemy so no one will notice how bad they are.

Heavenhelpusall March 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

What about all these empty retail shopping projects and empty office space around the country,that no one is in ,Atlanta has definitely overbuilt,I believe alot of that has contribute to the problems also,I was working for a small bank that was taken over by the goverment,All the above is the reason why ,TOO MANY LOANS IN THAT DEPARTMENT

yellowb March 19, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I believe things will start picking up in this state once the pro job incentives that were passed last week get signed in and implemented. At least I’m hoping so. Being unemployed sucks.

Goldwater Conservative March 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Joe, make certain you include the Preamble in that copy.

joe March 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Progessive Democrat (GC),

So you think that “…promote the general warfare…” means the government can do anything that it wants, and “…are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” means nothing?

Yes, you need a copy.

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