Georgia jobless claims number keeps dropping

Jobless claims fall in Georgia and nationally.

Credit: fil

Credit: fil

Jobless claims fall in Georgia and nationally.

New jobless claims in Georgia fell to 8,035 last week, while the state’s unemployment rate continued its descent to a pre-pandemic level, state officials said Thursday.

It was the third consecutive week that filings were below 10,000, according to the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped from a pandemic high of 12.5% in April of 2020 to 3.7% in July.

Recent weeks have brought rising concern that the resurgent coronavirus might undercut hiring. Next week, the state will release the latest numbers.

In the 18 months since the start of the pandemic, the state Labor Department has processed more than 5 million unemployment claims and judged more than one-third of them judged to be valid. During that time, more than $23 billion in state and federal benefits has been paid out.

But the number of claims has been steadily declining. In August, the number of claims averaged 10,385 compared to an April average of 33,288, according to the U.S. Employment and Training Administration.

This week, federal government stopped paying enhanced jobless benefits to laid-off workers around the country, including gig workers who lost income because of the pandemic. But the governors of Georgia and a number of other states had already elected three months earlier to end those federal payments to unemployed residents.

Jobless claims, week ending

August 7: 10,783

August 14: 11,157

August 21: 9,750

August 28: 9,849

September 4: 8,035


Average weekly jobless claims, 2021

January: 31,928

February: 28,188

March: 28,436

April: 33,288

May: 25,853

June: 21,553

July: 14,446

August: 10,385


Weekly jobless claims

Highest, pre-pandemic: 41,522 (Jan. 10, 2009)

Highest, during pandemic: 390,132 (April 4, 2020)

Average, pre-pandemic: 5,548

Average, past four weeks: 9,698

Sources: Georgia Department of Labor, U.S. Employment and Training Administration