Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Southern Georgia region's unemployment claims spiked in March.
Due to the effects of COVID-19, all regions and counties throughout the state saw a dramatic incline in initial claims along with the unemployment rate. "Although we are seeing the effects of COVID-19 throughout the state in spikes in unemployment, we are working very diligently to come up with solutions to get Georgians back to work as soon as it is safe to do so," Butler said.
In the Southern Georgia region, the unemployment rate increased in March to 4.7 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage points. A year ago, the rate was 3.7 percent. The number of unemployment claims dramatically increased by 758 percent in March due to COVID-19 related temporary lay-offs. When compared to last March, claims were up by about 1,038 percent.
The labor force decreased in March by 1,855. The March total was 180,222. That number is up by 1,108 from the total from March 2018. Southern Georgia ended March with 171,814 employed residents. The number decreased by 3,326 in March and was down 596 as compared to last year.