ATLANTA — Georgia’s wages across the state are rising and the March unemployment rate dropped to an all-time low of 3.1% from February’s revised rate of 3.2%.
Georgia’s unemployment rate was five-tenths of a percent lower than the national March 2022 unemployment rate of 3.6%, said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.
“Wages and benefits are having to be increased because of a very tight labor market, and we are now seeing the highest number of Georgians ever employed and participating in the workforce,” Butler said. “And with a record number of jobs being created, we have a situation where this will continue to be the case for the immediate future.
“Many of the sectors that weathered significant hardships during the pandemic are now having to offer higher wages and better benefit packages to get employees into open positions enabling them to do business,” Butler said.
“The cost of labor is being recouped by rising costs for consumers, which is one of the major drivers causing our current increase in inflation. Inflation will be long lasting, if not permanent, when driven by an increase in wages.”
The average wage difference from February 2020 to February 2022 was over 9%. Some of the industries hardest hit during the pandemic showed wage increases over 10%, including Leisure and Hospitality with a 20.4% increase and Health Care with a 10.6% increase. Professional and Business Services, which includes Administrative and Support Services, showed a 9.3% wage increase.
Butler also announced a new all-time high number of employed Georgians of 5.086 million, up 17,667 in March. The labor force was at an all-time high of 5.25 million, up 16,498 over the month, and the number of unemployed was down 1,169 to 165,045, the lowest figure since June 2001.
Georgia’s number of jobs was an all-time high of 4.7 million, up 12,100 from February to March and up 234,400 over the year. The sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 4,500, Administrative and Support Services, 2,000, Health Care and Social Assistance, 1,300, Educational Services, 900, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, 700.
Job numbers were at an all-time high in Trade and Transportation, 999,800, including the Transportation and Warehousing sector, 266,700, in Financial Activities, 265,600, in Professional and Business Services, 779,900, including the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector, 317,500, and the Administrative and Support Services sector, 371,500, and in Education and Health Services, 625,500, including the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, 530,100.
The sectors with the most over-the-year job gains included Accommodation and Food Services, 34,100, Administrative and Support Services, 29,900, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 26,100, Retail Trade, 21,700, Health Care and Social Assistance, 21,200, Transportation and Warehousing, 16,900, Wholesale Trade, 10,200, Durable Goods Manufacturing, 9,600, Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, 8,600, and Educational Services, 8,300.
There are over 212,000 jobs listed online at EmployGeorgia.com, resulting in a minimum of over 310,000 unfilled positions. Employers with over 1,000 job postings included Dollar General, 2,600, Wellstar Health System, 2,000, Walmart, 1,300, Marriott International, 1,200, Price Waterhouse 1,100, and Anthem Blue Cross 1,000.
Industries with over 10,000 job postings included Health Care, 33,000, Manufacturing, 20,000, Retail Trade, 19,000, Accommodation and Food Services, 17,000, Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, 13,000, Finance and Insurance, 12,000, and Transportation and Warehousing, 10,000.
Market salaries for the jobs listed on Employ Georgia range from $23,000 to $101,000, showing a median salary of $42,000.
Initial claims were down 2,995 (14%) from February to 19,082 in March. Over the year initial claims were down 124,328 (87%).
For personalized assistance, employers can reach Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) staff at https://dol.georgia.gov/employer-email-us-form. Additionally, by visiting Employ Georgia, employers can manage job openings and access the state’s talent pool. GDOL’s Career Centers are providing in-person employment services by appointment. Job seekers can reach out to their local career centers at https://dol.georgia.gov/locations/career-center for assistance.
For more information, visit Georgia LaborMarket Explorer to view a comprehensive report.