The unemployment rate for Polk is 3.9 percent; the same as in January but down significantly from the February 2003 rate of 4.7 percent.
John Lawrence, assistant director of Workforce Information and Analysis for the Georgia Department of Labor, acknowledges Polk’s good unemployment figures.
“It does seem that Polk is doing quite well compared to other areas in the state,” he said.
Polk’s unemployment rate is similar to rates in the metro-Atlanta area, as well as the state average.
The unemployment rate in Georgia for February was 3.9 percent as well, a decline of two-tenths percent from 4.1 percent in January, and well below the national average of 5.7 percent.
The number of jobs in Georgia increased by 4,000, or one-tenth percent, between January and February. Most notably, over-the-year job growth slowed to four-tenths percent between February 2003 and February 2004, compared to seven-tenths percent job increase between January 2003 and January 2004.
And while the unemployment rate in Georgia is good, many at the Department of Labor say more job growth is still needed.
“While we’re encouraged by the decline in the unemployment rate, job creation remained anemic in February,” said State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.
“New workers continue to enter the workforce each month. In addition, there are many workers who have been unemployed longer than six months and others who have become discouraged and dropped out of the labor force. Real improvement for these workers can only come with increased job creation.”
This information came before the recent announcement by the government that over 308,000 jobs had been added in the month of March alone.
The seven metro areas of the state and their job changes from January to February are as follows: Albany, down 300, or five-tenths percent, from 57,100 to 56,800; Athens, up 400, or five-tenths percent, from 73,100 to 73,500; Atlanta, up 3,300, or two-tenths percent, from 21,151,500 to 2,154,800; Augusta, down 20, or one-tenth percent, from 202,000 to 201,800; Columbus, up 300, or three-tenths percent, from 117,100 to 117,400; Macon, down 200, or one-tenth percent, from 150,400 to 150,200; and Savannah, up 300, or two-tenths percent, from 140,200 to 140,500.
Georgia labor market data are not seasonally adjusted and are available at www.dol.state.ga.us