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Why Augusta-area job seekers are seeing better prospects

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 9:20 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the first time since March of last year, Georgia is seeing the most amount people back in the workforce. Not only that but more jobs are available and with higher wages.

Two weeks ago, initial claims for unemployment in Georgia dropped again. The lowest rate since the beginning of the pandemic.

On Tuesday at the Patriots Park gym in Grovetown, Columbia County held a job fair. They say what they have to offer will beat the competition to get committed employees. They are looking to fill 138 county jobs.

“I hope we have people show up who are looking to work past the job but a career, we have lot to offer more than pay we want them to be happy to take pride in what they do,” said Jeff Carney, human resources director for Columbia County.

Columbia County employees have a minimum of $15 an hour, 11 paid holidays, free life insurance, onsite training, tuition reimbursement and much more. And the Georgia Department of Labor says this is becoming more common.

“We are seeing wages increase really rapidly in the last 6-8 months, that job that may have paid 10 an hour in Jan 2020 is probably paying 15-18 an hour today,” said Mark Butler, Georgia labor commissioner.

The number of unemployed members of the Augusta-Richmond community is a little over 12,000. And there was a great turnout at the Columbia County job fair with people ready to get to work.

“I’m definitely looking for some exposure to jobs I’m ready to get out here and work,” said Deja Wynns, who was looking for a job.

Our higher unemployment rate last month is actually promising for employees and employers.

“When your unemployment rate goes up because you’re seeing more people come into your workforce that’s actually a good thing, not a bad thing because you have so many available jobs in your area you need more people actually looking for work,” said Butler.

And this isn’t the only job fair this week. On Friday, the city of Augusta will host 60 employers at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.

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