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Ga., S.C. jobless rates decline — and Peach State sees a record low

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Fist bump(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 2:29 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 3.2% in September.

It’s the 17th month in a row that the state’s jobless rate has fallen.

“As the top state for business for an eighth straight year with an all-time low unemployment rate, Georgia’s economy is booming,” said Gov. Brian Kemp.

The unemployment rate dipped from 3.5% in August.

Georgia briefly touched an all-time high jobless rate of 12.5% at the start of the pandemic in April 2020.

The state’s previous all-time low unemployment rate was 3.3% in January 2020.

Jobs were up 14,300 (1.3%) over the month and up 194,400 (4.4%) over the year to 4,578,200. 86% of the jobs lost in March 2020 and April 2020 have been gained back.

Employer payrolls rose slightly from August, reaching 4.58 million statewide. Payrolls are the top labor market measure for many economists.

Payrolls still remain 1.9% below their pre-pandemic peak. The number of Georgia workers reporting having jobs rose above 5 million

Across the river

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the state of South Carolina fell slightly in September, according to a just-released report from the Department of Employment and Workforce.

September’s drop to 4.1% from August’s 4.2% is the ninth consecutive month in which the unemployment rate fell, SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said.

“In contrast to the nation, there has also been a steady rise of people reentering the workforce in the state,” Ellzey said.

The month of September saw 7,746 more South Carolinians employed than there were pre-pandemic in February 2020, Ellzey said, calling the positive trend “a terrific marker of our state’s resurgence in response to the pandemic.”

But he also stressed the need to focus on the continued need for workers, saying there are more than 107,000 open jobs posted to the SC Works Online System. The jobs include more than 15,000 in the health care industry, more than 10,000 in retail and more than 6,000 in industries like accommodation and food services, education and manufacturing, he said.

The news comes a day after the state posted its lowest weekly first-time unemployment claim total since the pandemic began.

Employment officials said the state received only 1,064 first-time unemployment claims, 250 below the previous week’s total and 201 below the previous low of 1,265 set for the week ending Sept. 4.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT, WCSC and The Associated Press