Georgia’s roller coaster economic ride of unemployment

March 11, 2012 by  

The state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 9.7 percent, a vast improvement compared to the double digit unemployment that has been prevalent throughout the state since 2008. The latest economic data offers good news and not as good news for Georgians. According to Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University,

“It’s a bifurcated economy. One part grows, one part doesn’t.”

Economic forecasters and employers who are hiring also make the future seem brighter for job seekers.

Interestingly, the progress is uneven because hiring has increased in some sectors and remained in a state of stasis in other industries. Currently, there are 460,000 Georgians who are unemployed. This yields a ratio of four job seekers for every one job opening. The state’s construction industry was affected tremendously; over 40% of all construction positions in the state have been eliminated since the housing bubble. Decreased tax revenues have also caused government jobs to be cut.

The outlook is far from dreary for the Georgia economy, however. According to Dhawan, production for durable goods like planes and cars is up.

Georgia job seekers, like those in Newnan, can improve their odds by applying for the many jobs available in emerging sectors of the Georgia economy or returning to school for more training. In some segments of the economy, companies are hiring, but cannot find qualified candidates, “We struggled all of 2011 to find skilled welders and insulators,” said Teresa Mangnus, chief executive of Vulcan Industrial Contractors. Print companies can help put Georgians back to work by offering digital business cards that job seekers can email to prospective employers.