Latest Georgia Department of Labor estimates show steady improvement

October 19, 2012 13:09 pm

by Bill Dawers · 14 comments

The Georgia Department of Labor yesterday estimated that the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent in September from 9.2 percent in August. Some folks cried foul when the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a .3 percent drop in the national rate a few weeks ago, but so far I haven’t heard any complaints about Georgia’s rate declining almost as much.

There was other clearly positive news in yesterday’s press release, including the following: “The number of initial claims in September declined to 39,564, down by 6,161 from 45,725 in August—the fewest since 32,139 were filed in September 2007.”

The number of unemployment claims is still very high and indicates a struggling labor market, but the trends are good.

The unemployment rate comes from a survey of households. A separate, less noisy, and more reliable survey of payroll establishments estimates that Georgia had 3.94 million jobs in September, up 61,800 from September a year ago. That’s a respectable increase.

But as I’ve noted here before (see here and here) job growth has not been consistent across the state. I’m glad to say that the employment estimates for Savannah have trended very positive over the last few months, as they have in a couple of other metro areas that had been lagging. Here’s the list of metro areas showing payroll job growth in percentage terms year-over-year:

  • Gainesville +4.3
  • Athens +3.1
  • Brunswick +2.8
  • Savannah +2.4
  • Valdosta +2.1
  • Albany +2.0
  • Macon +1.7
  • Atlanta +1.4
  • Rome +1.1
  • Hinesville +.5
  • Warner Robins +.3

Only three metro areas are continuing to show year-over-year declines in payroll jobs (expressed in percentage terms):

  • Augusta -1.0
  • Columbus -1.3
  • Dalton -4.5

We haven’t yet seen all the data from the survey of households. We’ll see those estimates in a week or so when the regional and metro unemployment rates are released.

Chris Huttman October 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Sounds like the Chicago boys are up to their old tricks again…oh wait.

I Miss the 90s October 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

Yeah, funny how one’s partisanship determines how they evaluate the performance of the economic policies of those in charge.

Let me guess, the past six years of economic decline where Obama’s fault (yeah, I know he has only been president for 3.5 years, but that has not stopped the right wing from blaming the economic collapse on him and denying that Romney’s…I mean Bush’s policies got us into that mess in the first place), but this months gains are all thanks to Georgia’s Republican controlled government.

griftdrift October 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

SKEWED!

saltycracker October 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Govt stats are hindsight involving money pumped into the system.
Foresight is the equities market where corporate earnings report are down and GE and Microsoft are not too optimistic about 2013.

Obama says its all good, stay the course – who do you trust ?

Chris Huttman October 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Well how do you square away the massive gains the S&P 500 has made since Obama was inaugurated? Things were good for those 3 years but now they suck?

saltycracker October 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Reread what I said.

It is smoke & mirrors of borrowed money, artifically low interest rates, devalued dollars and worse global financials. And with all this, corporate earnings are trending down ?

BTW, the corporate bond market has made me a lot more money than the stock market for some years. To summarize the problem, it is the incompentent Feds manipulated by the smarter too big to fails.

Now the legislative clowns on both sides play chicken with 60 days to go. Major corporations like GE are expressing concern over the coming tax increases. There is an excellent article on this in the Financial Times today.

10/18 The Washington Post: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials said.

saltycracker October 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

P.S. Raise the taxes on the wealthy…….They have a room full of money to hire the best and brightest to overcome it, buy more congressional loopholes, move more money around globally while it eliminates thousands of jobs in the U.S.

The bet is we can grow the economy and get them to pay more than 60% of all income taxes and 50% pay 0 in income taxes because they pay other taxes.

Grow at what rate while the rest of the world grows at what rate ?

I Miss the 90s October 22, 2012 at 12:57 am

Go ahead, raise my taxes. I will net $5.6million this year. What can’t I do if I net $3mill or $4 as opposed to $5.6? It is all going to my savings anyway…not the economy.

The feds job is not to produce profitable bonds. Their job is to regulate unemployment and inflation.

Ever heard of the catch up effect? Apparently not. China may grow faster than the united states, but look where they are starting from and the age in which they are developing. Our economy is still three times larger than our nearest competitor, China…whose economy is based almost entirely on American debt and trade.

You focus too much on taxes. They are a peripheral concern. Labor costs are the big concern…and minimum wage means nothing. My company employs an in house team of 9 IT employees. They have college degrees and average $65k per year. Just this past.week I struck a deal to outsource those jobs to guess where?…India (go figure right?) Not only will I receive $15k in tax credits for outsourcing, I will save $550k in labor costs per year.

Salty, did you even make $500k+ last year? That is, did you bring home over half a million? I gave myself a bonus for pulling a Romney…though I wish I could make as much money not working as he does to this day.

America is expensive…in large part because we are granted far more freedom than any nation in Asia, Africa, or South America. If you really want results then start repealing labor standards. Nevermind sending you kids to college and letting them decide what they want to be when they grow up. Send them to a sweatshop when they are 4 years old or have then declare government, healthcare, or IT as their major field of study when they are 10 years old. That is not the America any of us want…except you, salty.

Dave Bearse October 22, 2012 at 12:56 am

Well of course GE is expressing concern over tax increases. GE hardly pays any taxes so even a little tax increase is a big relative increase at GE. According to Forbes, GE recorded pre-tax profits of $10B in 2009, and collected a tax benefit of $1B. Forbes reported GE paid 5.3% in 2008, and 15% in 2007: http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/01/ge-exxon-walmart-business-washington-corporate-taxes.html.

When it comes to trusting GE ex-CEO Jack Welch or the career bureaucrats that prepare unemployment data, my money’s on the bureaucrats. GE’s quarterly earnings were less steady before Welch arrived, and have been less steady since he left. That suggests that Welch’s basis for his statement that unemployment statistics are being manipulated is a consequence of Welch’s cooking of GE books, and the assumption everyone and other large organizations are just like him and GE in that regard.

I Miss the 90s October 22, 2012 at 1:04 am

Amen to that.

Salty does.not understand why people like adelson or the koch’s will out up $100million on an election…they are planning on getting something out of it…and it is not fair taxation or higher employment levels.

But the alternative is a black liberal who was born poor, grew up poor, studied hard, got a scholarship to the best college in the world and made himself a millionaire without inheriting a fortune or destroying people lives, then became president of our great country.

No person who has ever been downsized our had their job outsourced can vote for Romney and still have any self respect or dignity.

saltycracker October 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

If you have been reading my rants, the economy is struggling and I place the blame on a complex tax code and a system that sorts out winners and loosers, encourages fraud, caters to a financial oligarcy and opposes a well regulated private market.

Raising taxes on the 1% is a symbolic red herring. GE paying o is nuts and they have the same rant as all those paying nothing….we paid it elsewhere….BS. Eliminating loopholes and lowering the overrate resulting in the same revenue is moving forward toward an understandable tax structure.

We can’t get to a flat or fair simplified tax code, with no deductions, no exemptions, no exceptions fast enough. Everyone must have skin in the game. Or we can just keep going with a culture of unfairness and hate/envy for those either rich, on welfare or scamming the system.

I Miss the 90s October 23, 2012 at 12:54 am

Dude, so long as money is speech I win. Deal with it or change your mind.

Romney is only going to make it better for me. I am not.voting for him b/c your right, the system is not fair. I use way more infrastructure than you and should pay a higher rate. Simplifying the tax code will only help a little. Flat.taxes.benefit me over the middle class…the fairtax does not since the purchase of stock comes with a sales tax (stupid, right?). That actually hurts anyone that invests.

The progressive income tax requires me and others in my position to pay more…because we use more infrastructure that middle classmen.

I am voting for Obama because I believe in fairness and I am not a protestant authoritarian…but Romney’s plan will make me a lot more money at your expense.
What is a 20% tax break to you? Assuming.you are.an average person, maybe 4 percentage points. I will get a 7 percentage point reduction…and.stop donating to.charity since those write offs will no longer exist. I will mot have to pay capital gains taxes either…on roughly $1.5mil per year. And thanks to the year my dad died, I did not pay a dime on.the $35 million I inherited from him…a position Romney, another heiress, has taken. Are you set to inherit millions upon your parent’s death?

All economic considerations lead to one conclusion: if you are currently wealthy,.then.Romney is your guy. Otherwise, not.

Dave Bearse October 22, 2012 at 1:12 am

This is off-thread, but has anyone else noticed an increase in temporary car tags of late?

And if car sales are up, is next year’s change from an annual ad valorem tax to what our transparent and forthright state leadership calls a title fee driving sales (or going to drive sales) in any way?

I’ll suggest the change will drive lower end private sales early next year because purchasers of those type vehicles are more likely to desire the lower regular car payment associated with deferred ad valorem taxes, instead of the tax, er fee, incoporated into the payment.

I Miss the 90s October 22, 2012 at 1:34 am

I highly doubt many georgians are even aware of the changes to ad valorem taxes.

While your observation is anecdotal, the question could be answered with a representative survey of Georgia’s car owners. No one will conduct one…because the democratic party is the only one with an interest in the highly predictable outcome and they are broke.

On top of that, if people are willing to throw down $20k on a new car to save less than $200 per year we have some really big problems.

Comments on this entry are closed.