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Employment numbers booming for S.C., Ga. and the nation

America is facing decades-high inflation. (Source: Senate TV/CNN/Pool)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 1:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - While South Carolina’s unemployment rate continues a modest downward trend, the Georgia and national jobless rates reached a record low, according to the latest statistics.

South Carolina

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point from March’s 3.4% to 3.3, the Department of Employment and Workforce said. New figures state the number of people getting jobs rose by 9,017 last month and the total number of unemployed workers in the state fell by 1,571.

“In addition, wages continue to grow. In the past year, wages in South Carolina have risen 4.38%, from $26.70 in April 2021 to $27.87 in April 2022,” agency Executive Director Dan Ellzey said.

Ellzey said the top challenge employers face remains being able to find enough workers. But he said the second-biggest challenge is that young people who are entering the workforce lack adequate “soft skills.”

“Our agency recognizes that predicament and we offer programs to teach individuals soft skills. We are also leading an initiative to come up with a statewide soft skills certification,” Ellzey said.

Soft skills typically include traits like communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Georgia

Georgia’s unemployment rate continued to hover at a record low of 3.1% in April as more people continued to find jobs. The jobless rate was unchanged from March, when it set a new all-time low.

Also, Georgia’s number of jobs is at an all-time high of 4,765,500, up 19,000 from March to April and up 252,000 over the year.

The state set a new all-time high number of employed Georgians of 5,106,584, up 20,516 in April. The labor force was at an all-time high of 5,267,469, up 16,337 over the month, and the number of unemployed was down 4,179 to 160,885, the lowest figure since June 2001.

A year ago, 4.3% of Georgia workers were unemployed. The number of workers on employer payrolls rose by 18,000 in Georgia in April, reaching 4.76 million.

That’s 250,000 above payroll levels last year and set a new all-time high for the fifth straight month. The nationwide unemployment rate stayed level from March to April at 3.6%.

Georgia’s trade and transportation sector has exceeded 1 million jobs for the first time in the state’s history.

Gaining 11,600 jobs in April, the sector has rebounded from an 88,500-job deficit in April 2020. More than half a million of these jobs come from the retail trade sector, including Walmart, Kroger, Home Depot and Publix – the biggest retailers in Georgia. Retail trade was one of the top five sectors hit the hardest during the pandemic losing almost 65,000 jobs at the height of COVID-19.

Other sectors with the most over-the-year job gains include accommodation and food services, 37,700; administrative and support services, 37,200; retail trade, 24,800; professional, scientific and technical services, 23,400; transportation and warehousing, 22,200; health care and social assistance, 19,600; and wholesale trade, 15,700.

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