Ga. unemployment rate at all-time low

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:44 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The unemployment numbers in Georgia dropped further and just hit a record low for the state.

Numbers from the Georgia Labor Commissioner show that during the month of June, the state hit an all time low unemployment rate of 2.9 percent.

Even though that unemployment rate is lowest we have seen, the number of available jobs just hit an all time high for the state of Georgia.

So where did all the workers go?

Georgia Southern Economic Professor says nation wide, about one percent of the work force chose not to re-enter the workforce after COVID. That number may seem small but it equals a few million people.

Some industries, like the trades, have been struggling to get in workers since before the pandemic and the low unemployment has only increased the problem.

The Sack Company out of Statesboro needs to hire plumbers, electricians and HVAC mechanics. They launched a campaign to get into high schools and recruit new workers.

“They were not going to a technical school, they were not going to a college, they really didn’t know what they wanted to do so we have been seeking those students out to try to put them in a position, not just to be a helper but to be in a career,” said Sack Recruiting Industrial Special Joseph Powell.

The Sack Company says since they launched their campaign when school got out last spring, they have hired about 70 new employees but they still need about 70 more.

This lack of workers combined with a large demand for goods and services is causing the economy to be in a unique situation right now.

Low unemployment, high inflation

Record low unemployment rates and high inflation costs are the current reality for U.S. consumers

That combination is something very unique and now it is causing a lot of strain on the economy.

On a national level we are heading towards a mild recession, according to Georgia Southern Economics Professor Michael Toma.

But he says in the long term, here in the Savannah metropolitan area, we are in good shape, especially with the new Hyundai plant coming to our area.

Because of supply chain issues we have a restricted supply and coming out of COVID, there is a high demand. That combination is contributing to high inflation and low unemployment, eventually leading to a troubled economy.

Toma expects we could go into a mild recession in the next six to 12 months – then we would deal with a six to nine month recession before things stabilize and the economy will starts to grow again.

“We have to moderate that with what is happening on the supply side of the economy. If we start to see the supply chain ease and transportation congestion in terms of the nation’s ports and its rail system, if those constraints start to ease, that should help bring down inflation faster than anticipated. But if they don’t or things get worse, then the timeline would be extended,” Toma said.

Toma says he believes we are already past the peak of inflation but that doesn’t mean prices will drop overnight. We still need to be patient. But he says the good news is this is likely to be a mild recession and not as extreme as what we saw back in 2008.

Until we can get through this we need to be smart consumers and stick to your budget.

Even though we are starting to see some relief in some prices like gas, you can expect to be paying higher prices for several months before we can see some progress.

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