Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Rises To 7.2 Percent In May

Thursday, June 19, 2014
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 7.2 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 6.9 percent in April. The preliminary rate for April was 7.0 percent, but it was revised down one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate in May of last year was 8.4 percent.

"This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. "In fact, we haven't had a rate decrease in May since 1999.
This time of year, we have new jobseekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs."

The labor force increased by 14,078 up to 4,780,952 in May from 4,766,874 in April. This was the fifth consecutive month the labor force has increased.

"Employers added 21,400 jobs in May, contributing to the 80,200 jobs we have created over the past year,” Mr. Butler said. "We are proud that Georgia continues to be a leader in over-the-year growth. During the past 12 months, Georgia has ranked fifth or sixth in over-the-year job creation in the nation."

The number of jobs increased to 4,125,100 in May, up five-tenths of a percentage point, from 4,103,700 in April. The increase is significantly larger than the 13,000 average gain between April and May over the past three years. Most of the May job gains came in professional and business services, 10,400; leisure and hospitality, 6,400; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 3,880; financial services, 1,800; and construction, 1,400.  Government lost 1,900 jobs.

The over-the-year job growth is the largest May-to-May increase since 2006. The job growth was up 2.0 percent, from 4,044,900 in May 2013. The job gainers were in professional and business services, 27,300; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 20,800; leisure and hospitality, 18,700; construction, 6,600; education and health services, 6,200; manufacturing, 4,300; and financial services, 3,600. Government lost 7,700 jobs.

There were 33,191 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in May, a decrease of 370, or 1.1 percent, from 33,561 in April. Most of the decrease in claims came in manufacturing.

Over the year, initial claims were down by 29.2 percent. There were 13,691 fewer claims filed than the 46,882 in May 2013. Most of the decline over the year came in manufacturing, 4,890; accommodations and food services, 1,691; administrative and support services, 1,073, and construction, 917.

Miller And Martin Names Nashville Attorney To Head Health Care Practice Group

Miller & Martin PLLC announced that Nashville attorney David Lewis will head the health care practice group for the southeast firm, according to Jim Haley, chairman. Mr. Lewis joined Miller & Martin’s Nashville office in May after serving as the vice president and associate legal counsel at LifePoint Hospitals in Brentwood.  He will be responsible for the ongoing ... (click for more)

Michael Williams Has Law License Suspended

Michael Gregory Williams, of Hamilton County, was suspended from the practice of law on Thursday by Order of the Tennessee Supreme Court for four years.  The suspension will begin on Nov. 9. A Petition for Discipline was filed on Oct. 30, 2013, alleging that Mr. Williams had misappropriated funds from an estate for which he had been appointed administrator and had failed ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Under Hard Freeze Warning As Winter Comes Early

The Chattanooga area was under a freeze warning as winter rushed in early. The biting weather came as crew members were about to hit the water for the annual Head of the Hooch at Ross's Landing. Here is the warning: ...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM EST /2 AM CST/ TO 9 AM EST /8 AM CST/ SUNDAY ... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Time To Fix The TIFs

What if Chattanooga policy makers and taxpayers used several recent business announcements as a wakeup call to learn more about how our community decides what companies get property tax breaks? If enough people accept this assignment, it just might result in the adoption of some sound policies and procedures to guide us in the future. We read in the newspapers this week that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)