December payrolls rise in Georgia as jobless rate stays low

The event was held at the Augusta Marriot convention center, on Thursday.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 1:39 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 2:24 PM EST
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s job market stayed strong in December, with employers adding more workers to payrolls and unemployment staying low.

But other numbers continues to show a shrinking labor force, and rapid job growth seen in early 2022 has ebbed.

The state’s unemployment rate was steady from November to December at 3%. That’s down from 3.3% a year ago, but up from the all-time low of 2.8% in the late summer.

The labor force fell for the sixth month in a row, while the number of people reporting they had a job fell for the fifth month. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work inched up to 157,000.

The number of workers on employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — rose by 10,000 from November at 4.84 million. That’s 165,000 above payroll levels last year.

Meanwhile, Gov. Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Economic Development said Thursday that Georgia sustained its momentum in the past six months through economic development projects in key industries.

The 218 locations or expansions supported by the agency’s global commerce division are expected to create about 17,500 new jobs and more than $13 billion in investment for the state, Kemp and the agency said. Both the number of locations and total investment amount increased over the same period a year earlier.

Across the river

In South Carolina, statistics released Friday show the state’s workforce continues to be dynamic across the board.

There were 175,000 job openings in November, up slightly from October’s 169,000 statistic. Businesses hired 12,000 more people in November than in the prior month.

Meanwhile, quits and layoffs remained stable with far more people voluntarily leaving work than having been made redundant.

“Despite the pessimism out there, our state’s businesses and workers are thriving,” said Dr. Bryan Grady, labor market information director at the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.