Record High Unemployment in January

From the AJC:

The Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 10.4 percent, topping the previous record high of 10.3 percent a month earlier.

The January jobless rate was up 2 percentage points from 8.4 percent a year ago.

“Georgia’s unemployment crisis is deepening,” Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement released early Wednesday.

“I’m concerned that thousands of pending government layoffs will further cripple Georgia’s struggling private job market,” Thurmond said. “Our elected leadership must come together to develop a bipartisan plan that will balance the state budget and jump start private-sector hiring.”

The Atlanta metro area lost 93,200 jobs, or 4 percent,  from January 2009 to January 2010, according to the Department of Labor.

The metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of job losses during the same period were Dalton, at 4.3 percent, and Valdosta, with a 4.2 percent loss. Areas with the smallest percentage of job losses were Warner Robins, which stayed even, and Augusta, which was down 0.4 percent.


    • ByteMe says:

      You have a point? What would it have been otherwise or were you only curious enough to figure out the number you posted?

      • btpull says:

        The Obama administration has the economic equation backwards. The private sector funds the public sector and public sector jobs (i.e. teachers, state employees, state projects, etc). Funding the public sector does not create private sector employment.

        The jobs losses of the last 12 months highlight this fact. By the way the original justification for the stimulus was to create 2 million jobs. Since we have lost 3.3 million jobs the measure missed its target by 5.3 million jobs. Any wonder why most people believe the stimulus was/is a failure?

        • ByteMe says:

          If you look at the rhetoric at the time the stimulus was passed it was “create or save” jobs, not just “create”. And if you look at how much of the state budget comes from the Feds, you would get what a loss of that money would look like from the already decimated state budget.

          And you are completely wrong about “funding the public sector does not create private sector jobs”. I’ll let you think up at least three examples before breakfast.

          As for what “most people believe”, 28% of the people think Obama wasn’t born in the USA, so if you start from a base of nearly 30% of the people are off-the-deep-end-stupid, it’s not hard to imagine that there’s at least another 20% who can’t understand that when the private sector is unable to participate in the velocity of money, the public sector needs to do that to prevent deflation. And if you didn’t grasp the true meaning in that sentence, you must be part of that 20%.

          • btpull says:

            Think about it if investment tax credits are increased, the deprecation recovery period is shortened, or labor costs are reduced via a reduction or suspension of payroll taxes, the private sector is expanded and/or unit production costs are decreased. Both results will add long-term jobs to the economy.

            On the other hand using Federal funds to pay the wages or salaries of a State employee for a year will at best keep employment stagnant, but it will not lead to an expansion of the private sector or long term job growth.

            • ByteMe says:

              You assume that consumers are buying more to use that additional capacity and items created. They aren’t buying. Manufacturing utilization is at its lowest point since they started recording it, so trying to increase supply isn’t going to do anything but create further deflation. Businesses are not going to expand until consumers start spending again and they’re not spending because they’re tapped out.

              In absence of a spending consumer, you need an entity willing to purchase things. That entity is the government at this time, via the stimulus package putting money into projects that otherwise would have put more people out of work thereby further lowering consumer demand.

              • btpull says:

                You do have overseas markets. Brazil and the Far East are growing, which is why Obama asked the CEO’s member of the Business Roundtable to increase hiring and expanded exports when he addressed the group a last week. The only problem is many of these Corporations have already announce planned layoffs for this year.

                • ByteMe says:

                  Do you understand why the far east is growing? They government of China pumping nearly $1 trillion into their own economy to fund infrastructure and manufacturing plant growth. In other words, the government is driving economic growth.

                  Certainly fits with the paradigm you’ve constructed, huh?

                  And our exports are growing, but only because the dollar had tanked, making our exports cheaper than those from other countries. Makes it more expensive to vacation overseas, but who has money for that now anyway? 🙂

                  • btpull says:

                    “Certainly fits with the paradigm you’ve constructed, huh?”

                    Exactly it does an investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation recovery is essentially an “investment” in a manufacturing plant via the tax code. Since our country already has a well developed infrastructure the “bang per buck” is allot less than a developing nation such as China.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      As it’s turning out, the “bang for the buck” in China is going to turn out to be less than desired, just because they’re building capacity without having adequate demand while the dollar is down and consumers aren’t buying here.

                      In other words, where you thought the far east was doing “better”, it’s actually spending government funds to keep the economy from rolling over into a recession today. Like our own stimulus package.

                      So, really, are you going to claim the far east has it better or not? Stick with an argument. I’m happy to refute all nonsense and affirm anything that makes sense.

            • IndyInjun says:

              Oh, so BT, would then approve of Obama’s huge tax cuts that allow Net Operating Losses to be carried back 5 years, then?

              This was a HUGE tax cut and the irony to me is how many people who got outlandish tax refunds from it still hate Obama. Also, you read zip about if, for some reason.

              I don’t like Obama period, but that doesn’t stop me from noticing little disconnects/hypocrisy like that.

              • btpull says:

                Extending the Net Operating Losses carry back period couple of years is fine. I doubt it has that much of an impact overall. How many business have 5 years of taxable income wiped out in 1 year?

                Beside I doubt a business that is doing this poorly will hire many people. The overall problem with the stimulus is that its areas of focus are not effective drivers of economic growth.

  1. IndyInjun says:

    Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are 17.1% in Georgia. Anything over 6% is ruinous to banks.

    That is what happens in a state where mortgage fraud was rampant in the 2000’s. (GA ranked #1 or #2 for 5 years running)

  2. GabrielSterling says:

    From Melvin Everson’s campaign:

    For Immediate Release Further Information Contact:
    March 3, 2010 Melvin Everson

    Unemployment Numbers Show Need for New Direction For Georgia
    Melvin Everson calls for emphasis shift following release of unemployment stats

    (Snellville)—Record breaking unemployment figures for Georgia should prompt an immediate shift in policy and action, State Rep. Melvin Everson said.

    According to recently released labor data, Georgia unemployment is now at the all-time high of 10.4 percent. That figure does not include under-employed Georgians who now receive considerably lower wages.

    Everson said it is ironic that while Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond’s office was releasing these statistics, Thurmond is almost simultaneously enjoying photo opportunities with President Obama.

    “Obama’s unreasonable and unworkable policies of national energy taxes and the federalization of our healthcare systems are contributing factors to Georgia’s unemployment problems,” Everson said. “The big-government mentality is helping to cripple all businesses – large and small – and it is costing us jobs and hurting families.”

    Everson said he is seeking the office of Labor Commissioner to institute a rapid change in focus, policy and procedure to the benefit of all Georgians – especially those seeking long-term employment.

    “We need to create an environment where small businesses and innovative companies locate and grow right here in Georgia,” Everson said. “We need to work with all of our available economic development and education outlets to foster that entrepreneurial sprit statewide.

    “Until we bring all of our necessary players to the table and end the failed policies that brought us to this point, I fear that we will only continue to reach new historic highs for unemployment,” he added.

    • ByteMe says:

      Obama’s unreasonable and unworkable policies of national energy taxes and the federalization of our healthcare systems are contributing factors to Georgia’s unemployment problems…

      So what doesn’t exist today is somehow causing all-time high unemployment? Interesting contortion position for a politician.

      • GabrielSterling says:

        Byte me:

        Talk to small business owners. They are sitting on their hands and hoarding cash, because they feel they are about to be hammered by federal policies.

        They won’t bring on new employees, in large part, because they have been told there WILL be a much higher carrying cost for them.

        This isn’t a contortion, this is the hiring environment caused in large part by Obama. The situation Obama inherited was bad, and his decision making and policies are making it worse.

        • ByteMe says:

          I am a small business owner who has exclusively small business owners as his clients. Some are bringing people on because their business is doing well; others are not, because business demand is not high enough.

          You are starting with a presumption and looking for a way to justify it. I’m dealing with day-to-day reality and Obama has nothing to do with it.

  3. Republican Lady says:

    I still feel these numbers do not include the under-employed like me. I have two part-time teaching jobs and the hours go up or down, depending on student enrollment and class availability. I would love to have a full-time position where income is the same every month but I just don’t see that happening any time soon.

    • ByteMe says:

      They do not include the underemployed OR anyone who is receiving the “extended” unemployment benefits. Right now the gap between the number and our reality is another 6-7%.

      • Republican Lady says:

        That is why I hate statistics, they can be manipulated to show any point of view without explaining the whole picture.

        I had to take one course as an undergrad and three for my master’s. Those courses reduced my master’s grade from a 4.0 to a 3.69.

      • polisavvy says:

        Are the unemployed self-employed included in this figure? If you know, I’d appreciate your input. Thanks.

        • ByteMe says:

          Truly self-employed people are not actively looking for work (and they are earning an income that would keep them from getting unemployment benefits), so they wouldn’t be in the first number. Could they be considered “underemployed”? Yes, if those people get included in the survey and answer “no” to whether they are working full time.

          • polisavvy says:

            Thanks for the explanation, Byte. I was just wondering because I hear my husband talking all the time about this subcontractor (self-employed) or that who is calling him because they haven’t found work in months. So basically, since this group is not included in the total of unemployed, the actual number of people who aren’t working or can’t find work is higher. Is that a fair assumption? Or wrong?

            • ByteMe says:

              If the sub can’t file for unemployment benefits because they didn’t have a previous place of employment and leaving that place did not trigger receiving benefits, then they aren’t going to be counted in the main stats. They might be counted as part of the “underemployed” stat, though, but those stats are an approximation, because they’re based on things like household surveys (similar to a poll).

              • polisavvy says:

                Thanks, Byte. As always you’ve got a logical sounding answer for me and I appreciate that.

                • Republican Lady says:

                  He’s my go to guy for all financial questions and statistical analysis because even though I took four classes, I HATE STATISTICS.

                  • polisavvy says:

                    He’s mine, too. He explains it where statistic simpletons like me understand it. I was not a lover of statistics classes, either. Not my thing. I just wish I had taken it more seriously, that way I wouldn’t feel so in the dark on it now.

  4. IndyInjun says:

    The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

    This is from Shadowstats. com a site that shows major government statistics as they would have been calculated pre-Clinton administration, generally. Look to each series for definitions. is a great resource for comparative data as compiled by a very thorough and respected statistician, John Williams.

    It exposes the deceptions being used by Washington and Wall Street to paint a rosy picture.

    • IndyInjun says:

      Around 21% is the Shadowstats rate for U6 as restated by the pre-1994 formula. (From the chart, I am not a subscriber with access to the underlying data series.)

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