Georgia A Top State For Underemployment

Date: August 17, 2015

Survey Finds State’s Jobless Rate Continues To Be High

According to the latest 24/7 Wall Street survey, the current US job market continues to improve from the its trough in the 2009 recession. Still, many Federal and state data reports fail to take into account the underemployed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ underemployment rate, 24/7 Wall Street explains, or the U-6, includes those who are traditionally unemployed as well as those who are employed only part-time as well as “marginally attached workers,” those who aren’t looking for work and don’t have work but have an interest in working. Among the marginally attached are so-called “discouraged workers,” who think they have no job options and have stopped seeking jobs. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics chief regional economist Martin Kohli, jobless individuals may also give up seeking employment due to struggles finding child care, retirement, disability, or their status as full-time students or home-makers.

According to individual state data for 24/7 Wall Street’s survey, Georgia is among the top 10 states with the highest underemployment rate, at 12.5%. The state has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the US, at 6.1% as of June, and has seen some of the largest declines in GDP and labor force growth since 2007. The state’s GDP grew by only 1.8% from 2007 to 2014, while its labor force declined by 1.2%. The survey says Georgia’s “relatively poor job market” is linked “to relatively poor socioeconomic factors,” such as a 19% poverty rate, the fifth-highest in the US. However, average weekly wages rose 3.9% from June 2014 to June 2015, faster than average US growth. And, the state has seen its unemployment rate fall each year since 2010, when it hit a peak of 10.5%.

What This Means For Small Businesses

This latest 24/7 Wall Street survey shows a mixed portrait of Georgia’s economic health. Although the state’s unemployment rate continues to decline, and the state has made strides in recovering from the recession, the level of underemployment among the state’s potential labor force remains troublingly high. Georgia’s small business owners should see this data as an indication that their businesses are in a state that still faces challenges in growing its economy and becoming more business-friendly.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously reported on Georgia unemployment data.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

Related Content: Small Business News | Atlanta, GA | Labor

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