Georgia Policy Group Warns That State’s Labor Force Participation Rate Lags Behind Other States

by T.A. DeFeo


While state officials touted their recent unemployment numbers as an all-time record, a state organization says a deeper analysis of the numbers shows a troubling undercurrent.

Georgia’s unemployment rate in March dropped to an all-time low of 3.1%, down from February’s revised rate of 3.2%, as the number of employed Georgians also hit a record high. Georgia is tied with Arkansas for the 16th lowest unemployment rate, according to an analysis from the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO).

“Georgia is among the 16 states that have recovered all the private employment lost due to the pandemic,” Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research, said in a statement. “According to our analysis, Georgia ranks 10th in the nation when comparing private employment to each state’s pre-pandemic private employment growth trajectory.

“Labor force participation is still an area of weakness. Georgia’s rate ranks 26th in the nation,” Randolph said. “While Georgia’s labor force participation rate edged up from 61.9% in February to 62.1% in March, it is still below its pre-pandemic rate of 62.8%. It is also well below the states with the highest rates. Nebraska leads the nation with 69.8% participation, just 0.2 points below its pre-pandemic rate.”

However, Randolph noted that the worrisome national economic situation can put a damper on the improving job picture.

“Rising inflation and supply-side problems are creating uncertainty that will impact entrepreneurial decision-making and alter the economic outlook,” Randolph said. “Some economic indicators are beginning to point to a possible economic slowdown. Although these prognostications are not certain, they are concerning.”

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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square. 




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