How is Georgia’s economy holding up in the COVID-19 recession?

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 8:56 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - “The COVID-19 recession is over” was the headline of the 38th annual Georgia Economic Outlook from the University of Georgia.

Just this week, Gov. Brian Kemp announced that Hyundai and Boston Consulting Group were doing expansions in Georgia, creating almost 1,000 new jobs.

The dean of the Terry College of Business said the recession brought on by the pandemic did less damage to Georgia’s economy than it did nationally.

Benjamin Ayers said economists feel the Georgia recession is practically a thing of the past.

State economic development officials said the promise of vaccines has created optimism in businesses.

“I believe there is a lot of pent-up demand, that I think we are going to be in for a very, very busy 2021 with new and expansions here in our state,” said Scott McMurray, deputy commissioner of global commerce for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

What do the numbers say?

The Georgia Department of Labor has paid over $16 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

However, first-time unemployment claims were down for last week in Georgia.

Last week, initial unemployment claims to the Georgia Department of Labor totaled 19,183, down 9,905 from the previous week.

Sectors with the most initial claims included accommodation and food services, 5,716; administrative and support services, 2,059; manufacturing, 1,853; retail trade, 1,411; and health care and social assistance, 1,315.

First time claims last week were also down in South Carolina.

The data for the week ending Saturday from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce showed a total of 2,683 initial claims. That was a drop of nearly 900 from the previous week.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT, WALB and WCSC