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Friday June 24th, 2022 6:20PM

More jobs than workers causing unemployment rate increase

By Jonathan O'Brien Anchor/Reporter

New data released from the Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday shows Gainesville with a slight increase in the area's unemployment rate. 

"Even though the labor force increased in all of our regions, counties, and metropolitan service areas, job postings continue to outpace those gains placing strain on employers to find talent for open positions," Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a press release.

According to the DOL data, Gainesville's unemployment rate is 2.1%, compared with 1.8% in April. Last May, the rate was 2.7%. 

Despite this, the local labor force increased by 376 in May, totaling 106,413 jobs. 

"Many areas across our state are experiencing difficulty in filling many of the seasonal, temporary jobs normally filled with summer workers, due to the opportunities in full-time employment," Butler said. 

Over 2,200 jobs were posted and active on the GDOL's website employgeorgia.com during May. 

"We're still seeing a very tight labor market. In our industry, we tend to view anytime we get at the 3.5 to 3% level that you're basically at full employment," said Stacey Reece, local franchise owner for employment and recruiting agency Spherion. 

Reece said North Georgia's "largely industrial market" is "aggressive and growing." Many local companies are opening new facilities or expanding operations they already have. 

As the "Poultry Capital of the World," Gainesville has many jobs in fields connected to the industry. 

Reece told AccessWDUN that employers are now considering all of the job candidate's different experiences, even those unrelated to the position.

"If they feel like the person has a strong worth ethic and is willing to be trained, then [the employer] is willing to administer training to get people up to speed," Reece explained. "If you're looking for a career change, and you're looking for opportunities, you're still within the window of being able to do that—it is an employee's market." 

The area's total unemployment benefits claims decreased by 10% despite the rise in the unemployment rate. 

You have some people that just kind of fall off the radar screen, as I like to say, and they use other means for employment," Reece explained. "They may not actively be employed, but they may be doing side jobs, things of that nature that they're deriving their income from."

You can see the GDOL's data for yourself by clicking here

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