Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Declines To 7.1 Percent In February

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The Georgia Department of Labor announced on Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 7.1 percent in February, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in January. The rate was 8.5 percent in February a year ago.

“This is the eighth month in a row that Georgia’s unemployment rate has declined,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.
“The rate dropped in February because Georgia employers created nearly 7,000 new jobs and reduced the number of new layoffs more than 30 percent.”

The number of jobs increased to 4,036,700 in February, up by 6,600, or 0.2 percent, from 4,030,100 in January. The job gains came in the state-operated public schools, 4,500; professional and business services, 3,800; construction, 3,400; education and health services, 1,500; and manufacturing, 1,000. Losses came mostly in trade, transportation, and warehousing, 7,200.

Over the year, the number of jobs increased by 57,000, or 1.4 percent increase, from 3,979,700 jobs in February 2013. The big job gainers were trade, transportation and warehousing, 17,100; leisure and hospitality, 15,200; professional and business services, 11,900; construction, 9,200, and education and health services, 7,200. Government lost 12,000 jobs.

“We’re seeing a lot of good news across most sectors, but probably the one we’re the most excited about is construction,” said Commissioner Butler. “The one-month growth rate is 2.3 percent and over the year it’s 6.6 percent, which is outpacing all other sectors.”

There were 40,322 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in February, a drop of 17,769, or 30.6 percent, from 58,091 in January.  Most of the decline in claims came in manufacturing, trade, transportation and warehousing, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food service. There were 38,696 claims in February 2013.

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways To Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.   These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They ... (click for more)

Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Names Alex Perkerson Government Affairs Specialist

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, a trade group representing the interests of electric cooperative members across the state, announced that Alex Perkerson joins the association as government affairs specialist. In this role, Ms. Perkerson will assist with the association’s legislative and grassroots efforts. “Tennessee’s electric cooperatives work to inform ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)