unemployment, from 10.1% to 10.8%, which is higher than the national average.
About 300,000 people in Atlanta are struggling without jobs right now. Last June, the area had a 10.6% unemployment rate; things had been looking a bit better before these new numbers from January.
These numbers may even be higher, as it’s reported that tens of thousands of Georgians who aren’t actively searching for work in this bare economical environment aren’t being counted.
A spokesperson from Manpower, Inc., Beth Herman, says that the area’s job outlook is “one of the weakest in the nation.”
“We are lagging the rest of the nation and we are lagging most major metropolitan cities,” she says. Of course, Manpower isn’t the only indicator of a city’s success; often times it only reports temporary job placement rather than steady full-time work.
Georgia state labor commissioner Michael Thurmond says that though the situation looks like it’s rough, it’s really the “backside of a Category Five economic hurricane,” and that things are getting better. The unemployment numbers, Thurmond insists, do not reveal the whole story.
Perhaps not, but over 300,000 jobless people in a single area is still a significant indicator of poverty and despair. More than half of these people have been jobless for six months or more, which, if anything, should emphasize the severity of “the story” Thurmond says is being told. In fact, that alone should make officials worry, and perhaps clamber over job creation and assistance rather than bailing out big businesses who are doing well, as they’ve been tending to do ever since the crisis hit.
Herman admits that, while bleak, the numbers are stronger than they were the previous year—and most companies have indicated that, while they may not be hiring, they are definitely retaining the workers they have on payroll already. Other staffing companies are seeing a rise in total numbers of applications as well.
And 10,000 people newly employed does add a little hope to the situation; at least some people are getting much-needed jobs.
Many have said that they do plan on increasing their payrolls as well, which is another good sign. Hopefully the second quarter will indicate a rise in overall people hired as well as a decrease in Atlanta’s unemployment numbers.