Earlier this week, Hometown Headlines’ Natalie Simms prepared a two-part report on how local employers are scrambling to find workers. Local existing industries alone had more than 400 vacancies.
Employers said one key factor is some of those listen as unemployed are drawing a weekly check that is paying them more than the equivalent of $16 an hour. One retailer told us Wednesday of a case where the worker told him he’d make a dollar an hour more just sitting home.
On Thursday, the state Department of Labor issued its latest benefits report. In it, the agency told of paying more than $21 billion in Georgia and federal benefits since March 2020. Last week, $183 million was paid.
- Hundreds of jobs available here but ‘we just can’t find people to fill them.’ Employers point to pandemic benefits where ‘folks can make over $16 an hour not working.’
- Immediate benefits, flexible hours, retention bonuses after 30 days — these are some of the tools employers are trying to fill 400-plus local jobs. longevity bonuses
- Who’s hiring now? More than 50 employers posted openings on our special Facebook page this week. It offers a cross section of immediate opportunities here.
- Latest unemployment data: 5,563 people were out of work in March, the state Department of Labor shows. That’s barely above the 5,517 identified as jobless in March 2020 (under 1%) — and down more than 11% from the 6,276 people listed as unemployed in February of this year.
- Below: The latest Labor Departmet report.
From a media release: The Georgia Department of Labor has paid over $21 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March. Last week, the department issued almost $183 million in benefits, which include regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.
Since week ending March 21, 2020, some 4.7 million regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the nine years prior to the pandemic combined (4 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 28,764, down 3,617 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 225,587 active PUA claims.
The state has paid 99.4% of all eligible claimants with a benefit year beginning in March 2020 until present day. The sectors with the most weekly regular UI initial claims processed included:
- Accommodation and Food Services, 7,597.
- Administrative and Support Services, 2,483.
- Retail Trade, 2,165.
- Manufacturing, 1,807.
- Health Care, 1,405.
The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending April 24, was 553,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 566,000.
UI benefits are taxable income and 1099-G tax forms are issued in accordance with federal law to report payments and all taxes withheld during each tax year. If you received a 1099-G tax form and did not file a UI claim yourself or your employer did not file one on your behalf, you may be the victim of UI fraud and should report the incident on the GDOL website at https://www.dol.state.ga.us/public/uiben/fraud/reportType. Select Report 1099 ID Theft at the bottom and follow the instructions. If you received a 1099-G tax form and returned the benefits or wish to return the benefits, please see detailed instructions on next steps at https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/form-1099-g-tax-information.
Resources for reemployment assistance along with Information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at dol.georgia.gov.
For more information on jobs and current labor force date, visit the Georgia LaborMarket Explorer at explorer.gdol.ga.gov to view a comprehensive report.