Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced on Thursday that the March unemployment rate dropped to an all-time low of 3.1 percent. That is a drop from February’s revised rate of 3.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia wages across the state are rising. “Wages and benefits are having to be increased because of a very tight labor market, and we are now seeing the highest number of Georgians ever employed and participating in the workforce,” said Commissioner Butler. “And with a record number of jobs being created, we have a situation where this will continue to be the case for the immediate future.”
The average wage difference from February 2020 to February 2022 was over 9 percent. Some of the industries hardest hit during the pandemic showed wage increases over 10 percent, including Leisure and Hospitality with a 20.4 percent increase and Health Care with a 10.6 percent increase. Professional and Business Services, which includes Administrative and Support Services, showed a 9.3 percent wage increase.
“Many of the sectors that weathered significant hardships during the pandemic are now having to offer higher wages and better benefit packages to get employees into open positions enabling them to do business,” said Commissioner Butler. “The cost of labor is being recouped by rising costs for consumers, which is one of the major drivers causing our current increase in inflation. Inflation will be long lasting, if not permanent, when driven by an increase in wages.”
Commissioner Butler also announced a new all-time high number of employed Georgians of 5,086,085, up 17,667 in March. The labor force was at an all-time high of 5,251,130, up 16,498 over the month, and the number of unemployed was down 1,169 to 165,045, the lowest figure since June 2001.
Georgia’s unemployment rate was five-tenths of a percent lower than the national March 2022 unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.
There are over 212,000 jobs listed online at EmployGeorgia.com, resulting in a minimum of over 310,000 unfilled positions.