With many people fearing the coronavirus, the worst job cuts are still coming from businesses that depend on in-person contact.
Atlanta has 25,000 fewer jobs in hospitality than a year ago, with most of the losses in hotels and restaurants, according to government data. More than 20,000 other service jobs have been lost, along with 11,200 in state and local government and 8,700 in manufacturing.
The Department of Labor’s online job board lists about 95,000 open positions in metro Atlanta, while 167,830 people are officially unemployed.
The count of the unemployed does not include people working fewer hours than they desire or those who have given up even looking for a job. So, between that and the job gains, the Atlanta unemployment rate dipped in December to 5.4% from 5.6% the month before.
Employment grew in 10 of the state’s 14 metro areas in December, according to Mark Butler, Georgia’s labor commissioner. He called that broad trend “indicative of the resilience that Georgia has to offer during this economic rebound.”
Metro Atlanta accounted for the lion’s share of the growth. The second-largest job gain was in metro Savannah, which added 1,900 positions.
Atlanta also has accounted for most of the state’s job losses during the pandemic — 93% of the total, according to Atlanta economist Mike Wald.
Statewide, the Department of Labor last week processed 28,016 new jobless claims, down 7,896 from the prior week. The sector with the most new claims continued to be accommodation and food services, followed by health care and social assistance.
Metro Atlanta Snapshot, December
Unemployment rate: 5.4%
Number of unemployed: 167,830
People in labor force: decreased by 15,431
Number of jobs: increased by 25,100
New jobless claims: increased 8 percent
Metro Atlanta, compared to a year ago
Number of jobs: decreased by 72,500
Number of unemployed: increased 84,362
People in labor force: increased 177,405
New jobless claims: increased 458%
Source: Georgia Department of Labor
Weekly jobless claims, Georgia
Worst, pre-pandemic: 41,522 (Jan. 10, 2010)
Highest, pandemic: 390,132 (April 4, 2020)
Average, pre-pandemic: 5,548
Average, last four weeks: 33,106
Last week: 28,016
Total since Mar. 21: 4,324,263
Sources: Georgia Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration