Athens’ Initial Jobs Claims Spike in March

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that Athens’ initial claims drastically increased in March.
Due to the effects of COVID-19, all MSA’s 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 Athens, the unemployment rate increased 0.9 percentage points in March, reaching 4.2 percent. A year ago, the rate was 3.5 percent.
The number of unemployment claims went up by 2,072 percent in March, which directly correlated with the amount of temporary lay-offs associated with COVID-19. When compared to last March, claims were up by about 2,609 percent.
Athens ended March with 96,300 jobs. That number decreased by 300 from April to March and was down by 100 when compared to this time last year.
The labor force decreased in March by 1,070 and ended the month with 99,164. That number is up 107 when compared to March of 2019.
Athens finished the month with 94,982 employed residents.  That number decreased by 1,978 over the month and is down by 610 when compared to the same time a year ago.