Georgia employers add to payrolls as jobless rate stays low

Fed Chair Jerome Powell forecasting additional interest rate hikes in ongoing efforts to cool inflation. (CNN, US SENATE)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 12:57 PM EST
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia employers are still adding workers to their payrolls, as new numbers show the pinch in Georgia’s workforce was not as sharp as initially reported last year.

The state’s overall job market stayed strong in January, with the unemployment rate staying level from December at 3.1%

The number of workers on employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — rose by 17,000 from December to 4.87 million. That’s 160,000 above payroll levels last January.


America’s employers added a substantial 311,000 jobs in February, fewer than January’s huge gain but enough to keep pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates aggressively to fight inflation. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, from a 53-year low of 3.4%, as more Americans began searching for work but not all of them found jobs. Friday’s report from the government made clear that the nation’s job market remains fundamentally healthy, with many employers still eager to hire.

January’s unemployment numbers always bring a revision of the previous year’s figures, and the new figures show Georgia’s jobless rate has been steady at 3.1% for six months. Joblessness is also level with the rate of January 2022, after dipping to an all-time low of 2.9% in April and May.

Unemployment is measured by a survey of individuals, separate from the payroll survey of employers.

Numbers last year had shown a meaningful decline in the labor force, but new figures show the labor force has been flat since April. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work was flat at 161,000.

The state released the figures Thursday. They are adjusted to cancel out seasonal fluctuations.

The nationwide unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in January from 3.5% in January. That’s down from 4% a year ago.

About 5,200 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended March 4.

The overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 28,000 in the week that ended Feb. 25.