Stats bring positive news in jobs in Georgia, South Carolina

The Consumer Price Index shows inflation slowed in October, but despite the cooling, Americans are still feeling the pinch. (CNN)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 11:04 AM EST
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AUGUSTA. Ga. - The latest employment statistics this week bring positive news for both South Carolina and Georgia.

South Carolina’s wages are at their highest hourly average ever, and Georgia’s job market remains hot.

Here’s a look at the details:

South Carolina

Dan Ellzey, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said wages increased 2% month-over-month in the October 2022 Employment Situation. The jump takes the hourly average from $28.45 to $29.11.

Ellzey said employers are also reporting a record-high number of payroll jobs at 2.25 million in October. He said as stores and restaurants prepare for the holidays, seasonal opportunities are on the rise.

The seasonally adjusted survey found the number of working South Carolinians dropped by 7,984 from September. Compared to October of 2021, there’s a net increase of 23,631.

Unemployment increased to include 78,578 people, an increase of 3,174 compared to Septe,ber, but a decrease of 7,945 compared to last year. This brings the state’s unemployment rate up to 3.3%.

Jobs in the state saw an increase of 2,600 payroll jobs. Industries that reported gains included, trade, transportation, utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, and manufacturing.

Industries reporting losses included construction, government, financial activities, and information.

Georgia

Unemployment data shows a Georgia job market that’s still hot but leveling off.

The state’s unemployment rate ticked up to 2.9% in October after three months at an all-time low of 2.8%. And while employers are still adding workers to payrolls, those gains may be slowing.

The jobless rate remained below a year ago, when 3.4% of Georgia workers were unemployed. But the labor force fell for the fourth straight month, while the number of people reporting they had a job fell for the third straight month. The number of Georgians unemployed and seeking work crept up to 152,000 after two months of ultra-low readings below 150,000.

It was the first increase in Georgia’s jobless rate since hitting an all-time high of 12.3% at the start of the pandemic in April 2020.

The number of workers on employer payrolls — the top labor market measure for many economists — rose by 3,000 in Georgia in July, reaching 4.84 million. That’s 204,000 above payroll levels last year.

Payrolls hit a new all-time high for the 11th straight month. Payrolls are measured by a survey of employers, separate from the survey of individuals.

The sectors with the most over-the-year job gains included:

  • Accommodation and food services, 31,400
  • Health care and social sssistance, 23,900
  • Administrative and support services, 22,900
  • Professional, scientific and technical services, 19,800
  • Wholesale trade, 16,500
  • Transportation and warehousing, 14,900

Republican Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said chances of finding a job remain good despite “some isolated layoff events.”

“We are still setting records in multiple sectors highlighting the current favorable hiring environment for Georgians,” Butler said in a statement.

The state released the figures Thursday. They are adjusted to cancel out seasonal fluctuations.

The nationwide unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in October from 3.5% in September. That’s still down from 4.6% a year ago.

About 3,800 Georgia workers filed for new unemployment benefits in the week that ended Nov. 12.

The overall number of people collecting state unemployment was about 23,000 in the week that ended Nov. 5.