Photo: For the AJC
Photo: For the AJC

Georgia gets job burst in June

The Georgia economy grew by 20,200 jobs last month, the strongest June in more than two decades.

The number of people in the labor force fell for the third consecutive month, however, casting some doubt on how long that kind of surge might continue.

Whatever the future, June largely made up for what had been weak hiring during the first five months of the year, according to a report issued Thursday by the state’s labor department.

“The numbers for June are very impressive,” Mark Butler, Georgia’s labor commissioner, said in a statement. “There’s plenty to be encouraged about in the June report.”

The state has added 80,000 jobs during the past 12 months and 717,300 jobs since the recession ended in 2009.

The nation overall also had a strong June, adding 224,000 jobs. Since 2009, the U.S. economy has added 20.3 million jobs, the longest U.S. expansion on record.

In Georgia, June’s hiring included a burst of new jobs across several sectors: relatively high-paying corporate positions, as well as lower-paying jobs in leisure and hospitality, the state reported.

There’s been solid hiring in technology, especially financial tech, as well as design, entertainment and film-related positions, said Michelle Armer, chief people officer at CareerBuilder, a national online employment website.

Warehousing and transportation jobs also have surged, growing by 28% over the past five years, even though the trend toward online ordering has sent some parts of retail into retreat, she said.

“Overall, it’s a very strong job market for Atlanta and for Georgia,” Armer said.

The state report showed employers are not only ready to hire, they also seem hesitant to shed the workers they have. That may be partly because employers who go looking for replacements have a dwindling number of new candidates to pick from.

Fewer people are looking for jobs. The number of new jobless claims – indicative of layoffs – was near all-time lows, 16% less than the same month a year ago, according to the labor department. That helped nudge the unemployment rate down from 3.8% in May to 3.7% in June – the same as the national jobless rate.

There are still more than 190,000 Georgians who are officially unemployed, and thousands more who are not currently looking. That is down from about half a million a decade ago.

Despite June’s robust hiring, there have been signs of weakness, said Brad Dillman, chief economist at Atlanta-based Cortland, a national company that owns and manages apartment complexes.

For example, the rate of job growth peaked at the end of last year. But the Federal Reserve is likely to cut rates, he said, and that could fuel a re-acceleration.

“I don’t predict a recession for next year. It could be like 1996 or 1998, where the cycle gets prolonged. We don’t think it’s the end yet.”

Georgia economy grew by 20,200 jobs last month, the strongest June in more than two decades.

The number of people in the labor force fell for the third consecutive month, however, casting some doubt on how long that kind of surge might continue.

Whatever the future, June largely made up for what had been weak hiring during the first five months of the year, according to a report issued Thursday by the state’s labor department.

“The numbers for June are very impressive,” Mark Butler, Georgia’s labor commissioner, said in a statement. “There’s plenty to be encouraged about in the June report.”

The state has added 80,000 jobs during the past 12 months and 717,300 jobs since the recession ended in 2009.

The nation overall also had a strong June, adding 224,000 jobs. Since 2009, the U.S. economy has added 20.3 million jobs, the longest U.S. expansion on record.

In Georgia, June’s hiring included a burst of new jobs across several sectors: relatively high-paying corporate positions, as well as lower-paying jobs in leisure and hospitality, the state reported.

There’s been solid hiring in technology, especially financial tech, as well as design, entertainment and film-related positions, said Michelle Armer, chief people officer at CareerBuilder, a national online employment website.

Warehousing and transportation jobs also have surged, growing by 28% over the past five years, even though the trend toward online ordering has sent some parts of retail into retreat, she said.

“Overall, it’s a very strong job market for Atlanta and for Georgia,” Armer said.

The state report showed employers are not only ready to hire, they also seem hesitant to shed the workers they have. That may be partly because employers who go looking for replacements have a dwindling number of new candidates to pick from.

Fewer people are looking for jobs. The number of new jobless claims – indicative of layoffs – was near all-time lows, 16% less than the same month a year ago, according to the labor department. That helped nudge the unemployment rate down from 3.8% in May to 3.7% in June – the same as the national jobless rate.

There are still more than 190,000 Georgians who are officially unemployed, and thousands more who are not currently looking. That is down from about half a million a decade ago.

Despite June’s robust hiring, there have been signs of weakness, said Brad Dillman, chief economist at Atlanta-based Cortland, a national company that owns and manages apartment complexes.

For example, the rate of job growth peaked at the end of last year. But the Federal Reserve is likely to cut rates, he said, and that could fuel a re-acceleration.

“I don’t predict a recession for next year. It could be like 1996 or 1998, where the cycle gets prolonged. We don’t think it’s the end yet.”

The Georgia economy grew by 20,200 jobs last month, the strongest June in more than two decades.

The number of people in the labor force fell for the third consecutive month, however, casting some doubt on how long that kind of surge might continue.

Whatever the future, June largely made up for what had been weak hiring during the first five months of the year, according to a report issued Thursday by the state’s labor department.

“The numbers for June are very impressive,” Mark Butler, Georgia’s labor commissioner, said in a statement. “There’s plenty to be encouraged about in the June report.”

The state has added 80,000 jobs during the past 12 months and 717,300 jobs since the recession ended in 2009.

The nation overall also had a strong June, adding 224,000 jobs. Since 2009, the U.S. economy has added 20.3 million jobs, the longest U.S. expansion on record.

In Georgia, June’s hiring included a burst of new jobs across several sectors: relatively high-paying corporate positions, as well as lower-paying jobs in leisure and hospitality, the state reported.

There’s been solid hiring in technology, especially financial tech, as well as design, entertainment and film-related positions, said Michelle Armer, chief people officer at CareerBuilder, a national online employment website.

Warehousing and transportation jobs also have surged, growing by 28% over the past five years, even though the trend toward online ordering has sent some parts of retail into retreat, she said.

“Overall, it’s a very strong job market for Atlanta and for Georgia,” Armer said.

The state report showed employers are not only ready to hire, they also seem hesitant to shed the workers they have. That may be partly because employers who go looking for replacements have a dwindling number of new candidates to pick from.

Fewer people are looking for jobs. The number of new jobless claims – indicative of layoffs – was near all-time lows, 16% less than the same month a year ago, according to the labor department. That helped nudge the unemployment rate down from 3.8% in May to 3.7% in June – the same as the national jobless rate.

There are still more than 190,000 Georgians who are officially unemployed, and thousands more who are not currently looking. That is down from about half a million a decade ago.

Despite June’s robust hiring, there have been signs of weakness, said Brad Dillman, chief economist at Atlanta-based Cortland, a national company that owns and manages apartment complexes.

For example, the rate of job growth peaked at the end of last year. But the Federal Reserve is likely to cut rates, he said, and that could fuel a re-acceleration.

“I don’t predict a recession for next year. It could be like 1996 or 1998, where the cycle gets prolonged. We don’t think it’s the end yet.”

Georgia job growth, June

2014: 7,500

2015: 16,600

2016: 6,000

2017: 14,900

2018: 9,700

2019: 20,200

Sources: Georgia Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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