Northeast Georgia saw positive over-the-month measures for every key indicator in February, according to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. The Northeast Georgia region includes Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties.
“February’s numbers are a strong indication the state is getting back to where it was prior to the pandemic,” Butler said. “Not only are we seeing growth for nearly every indicator in each region and county, but we are seeing the momentum start to switch in our favor. The unemployment rates are drastically dropping, the labor force numbers are gearing up, and most importantly, we are seeing initial claims decrease in almost every region and county.”
The unemployment rate for Georgia in February 2021 is 4.8 %, still up from Feb. 2020 when it was 3.5 % but a vast improvement over April 2020 after the COVID-19 initial shutdown when it was 12.5 %.
In Northeast Georgia, the unemployment rate was 3.8 %, a decreased of 0.4 percentage points. In February 2020, the rate was 3.2 percent.
The labor force increased in February by 2,520 to 310,859. The number is still down by 6,412 from the total from February 2020. Northeast Georgia ended February with 299,047 employed residents an increase of 3,701 in February but still down 8,227 when compared to last year.
Initial claims for unemployment decreased by 3 % in February. When compared to last February, claims were up by about 426 %.
In Walton County, February 2021 initial claims were 993, up 91 (10%) from last month, which was 902, and up 869 (700 %) from February last year. But this is a huge improvement over July 2020, which was 3,483 (2721.1 %) up from July 2019 when initial claims were just 128.
In Gwinnett County, which is part of the Atlanta Regional Commission, February 2021 initial claims were 9020, up 143 (1.6%) from last month and 7,573 (523.4%) from February last year. But this too is a huge improvement over July 2020 which was up 38,771 (2,915 %) over July 2019 when initial claims were 1,330.
In the Atlanta Metro Statistical Area, which includes Gwinnett and Walton counties, with 2.71 million jobs, employment is down by 161,600 jobs over February 2020. In February last year, the Atlanta MSA area had 2.87 million jobs.
The GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 4,268 active job postings in Northeast Georgia for February.
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