Unemployment rate in central Georgia rises due to lack of workers

When people re-enter the labor market and start looking for a job, they are counted as unemployed.

MACON, Georgia – Fewer Georgians are filing unemployment claims. This is according to the latest data from the Georgia Ministry of Labor. Georgia has an unemployment rate of 4% and jobless claims fell about 6% from May to June.

However, claims increased in some counties in central Georgia during this period. In Bibb, claims increased by about 150 more than in previous months. Houston County’s number increased by about 250, and Laurens County’s claims increased by 30.

Hotlanta Wings owner Alan Hastings said it’s the first time he’s had this problem.

“Right now we’re looking for all positions – cook, cashier, manager. It’s the worst it’s ever been in 22 years that I’ve been doing this,” Hastings said.

Hastings said the biggest problem is that federal pandemic unemployment assistance has made people feel comfortable being paid for not working.

“What doesn’t help is that the government pays everyone to sit at home, so it doesn’t help. I had 10 interviews last week and I had one alone, ”Hastings said.

Economics professor Greg George at Middle Georgia State University said in late June that Governor Brian Kemp had decided to stop accepting federal unemployment assistance. Kemp argues that this has forced many people back into the workforce.

When people re-enter the labor market and start looking for a job, they are counted as unemployed.

“The pandemic has had a negative impact on service industries as restaurants and hospitality have been hit particularly hard. These are the jobs that have been hit the hardest, and we expect those to come back. as the pandemic subsides, ”says Georges.

Hastings said he was looking for someone willing to work.

“I would love experienced people, but we’re also hiring new people. In fact, we just hired a 16-year-old not too long ago. It was her first job. She’s doing it. very well.”

Professor George said the state’s labor market is expected to return to normal within the next six months.

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