Augusta sees decline in unemployment, matching U.S. trend

America's economic recovery is a rosier picture by the month. However, it doesn't feel so rosy for many Americans due to inflation. (CNN, POOL)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta recorded a March unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, down two-tenths of a percent over the month as the the total number of Americans collecting aid fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years.

A year ago, Augusta’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

Key Augusta statistics:

  • The labor force increased in Augusta by 975 and ended the month with 268,427. That number is down 190 when compared to March of 2021.
  • Augusta finished the month with 258,807 employed residents. That number increased by 1,565 over the month and is up by 1,703 when compared to the same time a year ago.
  • Augusta ended March with 240,400 jobs. That number was up 1,000 from February to March and increased by 3,200 when compared to this time last year.
  • The number of unemployment claims went down by 11 percent in Augusta in March. When compared to last March, claims were down by about 85 percent.

Across most of the rest of the Peach State, the unemployment rate was largely unchanged in March.

The national picture

Meanwhile, applications for unemployment benefits inched downward across the U.S. last week as the total number of Americans collecting aid dipped to a half-century low point.

Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 184,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average of claims, which levels out week-to-week volatility, rose by 4,500 to 177,250.

About 1.42 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment benefits in the week of April 9, the fewest since February 21, 1970.

Two years after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the economy into a brief but devastating recession, American workers are enjoying extraordinary job security. Weekly applications for unemployment aid, which broadly track with layoffs, have remained consistently below the pre-pandemic level of 225,000.

Last year, employers added a record 6.7 million jobs, and they’ve added an average of 560,000 more each month so far in 2022. The unemployment rate, which soared to 14.7% in April 2020 in the depths of the COVID-19 recession, is now just 3.6%, barely above the lowest point in 50 years. And there is a record proportion of 1.7 job openings for every unemployed American.

The U.S. job market and overall economy has shown remarkable resiliency despite ongoing supply chain breakdowns, the economic consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the highest consumer inflation in 40 years.

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