But even as many firms hire, others are still cutting.
Statewide last week, 44,892 jobless claims were processed, down 9,274 from the previous week. For months, many jobless Georgians complained of long waits to receive unemployment benefits, but state labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the time it takes to process and pay claims has been dramatically cut.
The number of claims are down from the peaks in the spring, but is still higher than any pre-pandemic week, a sign of continued trouble in some economic sectors.
The Hyatt Regency recently filed notice with the Department of Labor that it is laying off 267 workers. Crown Plaza filed notice that it is cutting more than 120 jobs.
Some company problems are caused by drops in consumer spending – like the plunge in travel. But there also have been a slew of company failures because of a change in creditor attitude, said Jim Swift, chief executive of Cortera, which tracks business spending.
For the first few months of the pandemic, many companies accepted late or partial payments from businesses that were struggling. But that has changed over the past several months, he said.
“Suppliers are not tolerating slow payments,” he said. “You see them saying, ‘No, I’m just going to focus on my strong customers.’ So it’s a little like survival of the fittest.”
Metro Atlanta economy
Jobs, lost or added
New jobless claims
September, 2019: 8,089
August, 2020: 151,491
September, 2020: 120,299
Sources: Georgia Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics