Unemployment numbers

Dept. of Labor report shows last month’s unemployment numbers were up slightly

Pierce County’s estimated unemployment rate increased by four tenths of a percent in September as local businesses and the labor force continue to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Pierce County’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in September, up from August’s adjusted rate of 3.8 percent, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Labor.

The rate is still improved from the over 8 percent unemployment rate recorded in April at the height of the shelter in place order caused by the virus and before businesses re-opened.

“Although we saw some negative metrics in certain regions and counties, a majority of the areas saw increases in jobs, employed residents, and labor force,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We really need to push the tens of thousands of jobs that we have on our online job listing page EmployGeorgia.com. The more we fill these jobs, the more our state can regulate and show positive numbers throughout all regions and counties.”

The statistics show Pierce County has a labor force of 8,200 with 7,857 employed. The number of those listed as unemployed was 343, up by 33 from August.

In the Southern Georgia region, the unemployment rate also increased by an identical four tenths of a percent to 5.2 in September. A year ago the rate was 3.2 percent.

Southern Georgia ended September with 163,747 employed residents. The number increased by 107 in September but was down 8,320 as compared to last year.

Initial claims for unemployment decreased by 17 percent in September, but when compared to September 2019, claims were up by about 702 percent.

Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 1,568 active job postings in Southern Georgia for September, down  almost 300 positions from August.

In addition to Pierce, the 18-county South Georgia region includes Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift, Turner and Ware.