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Georgia, South Carolina see notable declines in jobless rate

(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 1:26 PM EST
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In their latest reports, Georgia and South Carolina both report big declines in their unemployment rates. Here’s a look at the figures that were released late this week:

Georgia

The Georgia Department of Labor says the state’s unemployment rate for October decreased by 1.8 percentage points to reach 4.5 percent.

Prior to the pandemic, Georgia’s unemployment rate was at an all-time low of 3.1 percent.

Georgia has seen an 8.1 percentage drop in unemployment since April, when the state reported a 12.6 percent unemployment rate, Georgia’s all-time high.

“The fact that we have so quickly reduced our unemployment rate to almost pre-pandemic levels demonstrates how strong our economy was prior to the crisis and how we are successfully recovering economically,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement.

In October, the number of employed Georgians was up 227,202 to reach a total of 4,859,864, and the number of employed was up by 579,940 since April.

Georgia’s labor force in October saw an increase of 145,120, totaling 5,091,317. That number is also up 196,921 since the start of the pandemic in April. In October, initial unemployment claims decreased by 3 percent (5,124) since September to reach 196,666.

Jobs in October increased by 25,000, reaching a total of 4,493,500. That number is down 136,600 compared to this same time last year. The job total listed online at EmployGeorgia has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic from the April 2020 listing of just 73,000 jobs.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says the unemployment rate in South Carolina for the month of October dropped nearly a full percentage point from September.

Agency Executive Director Dan Ellzey called October’s unemployment rate of 4.2%, down from 5.1% in September, “a huge stepping stone in the economic recovery process” for the state.

At 4.2%, the state’s unemployment rate is only a few percentage points higher than January’s historic low rate of 2.4%, he said.

“This development indicates a massive shift in South Carolinians going back to work,” Ellzey said.

Ellzey said the number of unemployed people in South Carolina fell from 125,120 in September to 100,333 in October.

“And, the important part is that these people left the ranks of the unemployed because they got a job, not because they gave up on looking for a job,” Ellzey said. “At the same time that roughly 25,000 people left the ranks of the unemployed, approximately 28,000 additional South Carolinians became employed. That is a remarkable development.”

Ellzey said there are currently more than 81,000 jobs posted in the SC Works Online Services portal.

“The reality is, opportunity is knocking and the partners at SC Works centers statewide are prepared and ready to help job seekers fill these open positions,” Ellzey said.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and WCSC