Unemployment Rate Down

The Georgia Department of Labor released the follow statement:

The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 7.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.1 percent in August. The rate in September of last year was 8.0 percent.

“The rate dropped because there were 5,744 fewer unemployed people in September, according to the federal government’s monthly household survey, and we had fewer new layoffs,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

While the rate decreased, Georgia lost 7,300 jobs in September, as the total number of jobs dropped to 4,129,200. The net loss was mostly seasonal in nature, with the biggest reduction being the loss of 9,200 jobs in leisure and hospitality, as many students left summer jobs to return to school. Additional losses came in several sectors. Despite the overall loss, government gained 8,200 jobs, which were mostly in public schools, and other gains came in educational and health services and trade and transportation.

“We continue to have strong over-the-year job growth, as Georgia added 80,000 jobs since September a year ago,” said Butler. “Our impressive over-the-year growth keeps Georgia among the leading states for job creation. And, the growth is in every private sector job category we track, with government being the only sector showing a loss.”

We had several posts in the wake of last month’s unemployment rate announcement here, here, and here. I think those posts are relevant whether the rate goes up or down in any particular month. Our economy is headed in the right direction, we need to keep the business climate friendly and do what we can to encourage job growth.

The Jason Carter campaign was quick to pounce on the drop in unemployment as bad news:

“Georgia’s economy is heading in the wrong direction. We lost more than 15,000 private sector jobs in just one month, and far too many Georgians are still looking for work.

“Every state in the country has recovered from the recession faster than Georgia has under Gov. Deal. It’s time for a new direction.”

So when the rate goes up it’s bad news and when the rate goes down it’s bad news….and vote for me.



    • saltycracker says:

      Carter feels your pain and is here to help and see that the state fixes the miserable conditions they caused.

  1. Alex Rowell says:

    What the Labor Commisioner fails to mention in his press release is that the “5,744 fewer unemployed people in September” is the result of 5,500 Georgians leaving the labor force entirely. It’s not good when the only reason the unemployment rate is dropping is that Georgians are giving up on working.

    When it comes to the establishment survey, which the Deal campaign has been holding up as the gold standard due to how terrible Georgia’s unemployment rate (calculated from household survey) has been, our 7,300 jobs lost was the greatest monthly loss since Governor Deal took office. That’s nothing to be proud of.

    • saltycracker says:

      Some percentage of those dropping off probably went to cash, disability or found alternate income sources. There are plenty of jobs for the able bodied, they might suck, pay poorly or just not be what the unemployed wants.

      • John Konop says:

        You bring up a good point….especially with baby boomers turning 65 at a higher rate….

        ……How boomers will change retirement and jobless rates……

        …….With 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65, that large cohort will have an impact on unemployment rates this fall, when it could matter in the election race, and for years to come. Update: New employment figures show little gain in overall jobs…


        • saltycracker says:

          Some areas of Georgia are pretty popular with retirees – counties cutting them a tax break attract bucks and volunteers with minimum stress on the biggest part of budgets like schools and law enforcement. It is a win win.

          • John Konop says:

            The key Salty is location….the biggest expense is emergency ambulance service….the easy living communities should be near hospitals…..2 great areas would be the area near the new hospital north of town.,..lots of shopping, parks….And the area off sixes road by the pool….same lots of healthcare….Townlake tough via lack of land….Downtown Canton could be good but needs facelift to surrounding area….

          • These people aren’t counted in the survey. Not it’s certainly true that many people are dropping out of the workforce by choice. We are nearing the end of the cycle of the first full generation where most women worked outside of the home, and I certainly know many women my mother’s age who worked their whole life and when they had the means to stop working they did so in some cases well before traditional retirement age.

            BUT – Republicans weren’t interested in such subtleties when Democrats tried to make these explanations about the unemployment rate in the context of the Presidential election, so why should we be interested now that they need these to explain away Georgia’s failures?

            And the other thing is, the trends affecting people dropping out of the work force are happening everywhere, and we are still ranked #51. I’m sure the other 50 states also have people dropping out of the workforce. We’re still at the bottom.

            • John Konop says:


              Forget politics….I have made the point for years about any issue, from healthcare, war on drugs, SS, economy.trade, immigration…both sides spin the facts for election purposes. As you know I have debated issue by issue when I see the spin….Some think it is because I like to argue and have no real tribal side….The truth is I am a pragmatic business guy….I made my money doing turn arounds….The first lesson in doing a successful turn around is do not lie to yourself…You cannot fix something if you lie to yourself….Solutions are fairly easy when every one is honest about the situation….

    • Bill Dawers says:

      Most of those added public jobs over the month were seasonally related — especially education employees.

      It really is sort of odd to see that large a private sector decline in payrolls from August to September. Of course, it’s just one month and could be statistical noise. But it also could be a small first step toward a realignment of the payroll survey and household survey that have seemed so far out of whack with each other.

  2. Dave Bearse says:

    The economy is going in the right direction only as concerns statewide races. It’d be different if it was 2016.

  3. saltycracker says:

    Republicans that might have been skeptical of Clintons “a hand up, not a hand out” have to be freaking on the Democrats evolving to “if you don’t want to work, you shouldn’t have to work.”

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