According to data released yesterday, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in October from 8.3 percent in September. The rate was 8.8 percent in October 2012.
That’s good news, I guess, although at the current pace we won’t be back to anything resembling “full employment” for several more years.
The Ga. Dept. of Labor also released the payroll jobs data for the state and for various metros, but I guess they haven’t sent out press releases for individual metro areas yet. No press releases, no news coverage.
But the numbers are there and they aren’t pretty.
Sure, the state saw a solid 2.1 percent increase between Oct. 2012 and Oct. 2013 in the number of payroll jobs, but that number was buoyed by Atlanta’s strong 2.7 percent year-over-year growth.
Over the past year, the state added over 85,000 jobs, but more than 63,000 of those were in the Atlanta metro area.
Beyond Atlanta, three Georgia metro areas had fairly decent job growth over the past year: Gainesville +1.6 percent, Dalton +1.1 percent, and Macon +1.1 percent.
A whole group of metro areas saw growth of less than 1 percent, which probably is not enough to keep pace with population growth: Athens +.8 percent, Savannah +.8 percent, Augusta +.7 percent, Valdosta +.4 percent, Albany +.3 percent, and Columbus +.1 percent.
And several metro areas lost jobs over the last 12 months: Rome -.5 percent, Hinesville -1.0 percent, Brunswick -1.2 percent, and Warner Robins – 1.3 percent.
Government employment declined over the last year at the federal, state, and local levels. Of the 4,900 federal jobs lost, about half were from the Department of Defense. Local governments cut employment in education by 1,800 jobs.
Predictably, some metro areas were especially impacted by federal job losses, with Hinesville losing 500, Savannah losing 500, and Warner Robins losing 800.