Although the unemployment rate continues to be high nationwide, Georgia is showing promising signs of getting back to work. According to Atlanta Business Chronicle, November 2011 was the second consecutive month in which the unemployment rate declined. The rate dropped .3 points to 9.9 percent a little over a month ago, marking the largest monthly decline in 34 years.
The good news for those in the Atlanta real estate industry is that as the unemployment rate drops, people start to buy homes again. For more on Housing Predictions for 2012, listen to our interview with David Ellis of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio.
This holiday season, specifically in November, Georgia experienced its best retail hiring since November 2007. Both the financial and business sectors, which endured much damage from the recession, underwent promising gains on their way to recovery, State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.
While many would be quick to attribute the unemployment decline to the seasonal surge of temporary employment brought on by the holiday shopping season, there are other reasons for the improved conditions which may prove to be more lasting. November saw the number of jobs rise 0.6 points, now totaling 3,838,700. The number of long-term unemployed workers also declined 1.3 percent to 248,900.
Furthermore, the Georgia state government has scaled back, cutting nearly 22,500 jobs, while the private sector has created 2,600 jobs. “I think it’s evidence that our state and local leadership is being sensitive to the taxpayer and trying to make government live within its means,” Butler said.
Yet, the unemployment issue is far from solved. In November, the number of first-time filings for unemployment insurance benefits increased 3.1 percent to 57,573, which was largely due to temporary layoffs in industries like wholesale trade, manufacturing and services.
Here’s to hoping 2012 will bring Georgians a continued decline in unemployment and an increase in jobs.
For more information, see the Atlanta Business Chronicle article.