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.