First-time unemployment insurance claims dropped by more than a third in June vs. May in Northwest Georgia but easily dwarfed numbers recorded in the region 12 months earlier.
Nearly 16,000 claims were filed from Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Polk and Chattooga counties last month vs. 25,186 in May — and all of 667 in June 2019, the latest reports from the Georgia Department of Labor show.
The largest drop was in Bartow County, from 9,161 to 5,358 monthly claims. There were all of 142 claims in Bartow 13 months ago.
The jobless claims reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Northwest Georgia but perhaps a clearer picture is the labor force count for June for Floyd County. Some 42,000 people were working in Floyd last month, 200 more than a year earlier and 1,100 more than May 2020. The labor force dropped to 39,600 in April.
Last week, the state labor department report it had paid more Unemployment Insurance benefits than ever previously paid. Payments of almost three times the amount in all of 2019 were issued to claimants during the short holiday week. Over $857 million in regular state and federal UI benefit payments were made during the week preceding Independence Day to bring Georgia’s total payments in excess of $8.5 billion since the middle of March. In excess of 91 percent of the 1.2 million claimants requesting a payment have received benefits.
Payments last week totaled $148,071,716 in regular weekly state unemployment benefits. Since March 21, over $2 billion has been paid in regular state UI benefits.
Labor Department media release: State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that the unemployment rate decreased in June to 7.6 percent, 3.5 percentage points lower than the national rate of 11.1 percent.
June 2020 labor statistics also revealed over-the-month increases for the labor force, employment, and jobs.
“June was the first month to show positive numbers in all major indicators since the pandemic started,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. “Although it is nice to see the pendulum move in the right direction, we are not naïve to the fact that we may see another tick up in claims over the next few months. We will continue to work unemployment claims both new and continued to ensure all Georgians are being taken care of during these unprecedented times.”
- The unemployment rate decreased by 1.8 percentage points in June, to reach 7.6 percent. A year ago, the rate was 3.5 percent.
- June showed an increase of 118,100 employed residents over the month, bringing the total to 4,550,242. This number has decreased by 364,462 over the year.
- Georgia’s labor force was up by 31,100 to reach a total of 4,923,646. The labor force was down 168,917 when compared to this same time last year.
- Jobs in Georgia were up by 150,200 over the month, reaching a total of 4,370,300. They were down 239,800 over the year.
- Unemployment claims showed a decrease of 228,209 claims or 27 percent in June to reach a total of 607,851 claims. They were up by 589,441 claims or 3,202 percent from June 2019.
- Employ Georgia posted more than 89,068 statewide job listings during the month of June.