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Georgia job growth strong as unemployment remains at record low

Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The stock market has plunged, interest rates have climbed, inflation may be biting, and talk of recession is in the air, but business has been pretty good at Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions.

Like many Georgia employers, the Athens-based company has been less worried about finding customers and more worried about obtaining workers to get the job done, said Scott Clark, owner of the firm that filters and deep-cleans fryers in commercial kitchens.

He has two workers, each working from a $75,000 van outfitted with cleaning equipment. He is poised to hire a third employee, he said.

“He’s a really good guy, and I don’t want to let him slip away,” Clark said. “I don’t ever hire when I need someone, I hire when I find the right person.”

Since the start of the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has shed about 15% of its value, but the rebound of the Georgia economy has continued, according to a report Thursday from the state Department of Labor.

Georgia added 19,000 jobs last month, more than three times the pre-pandemic average for April growth. That kept the unemployment rate at its all-time low of 3.1%, unchanged from March and still lower than the national rate, said Mark Butler, the state’s labor commissioner.

That jobless rate held steady even though the labor force grew 16,337 during the month. The number of Georgians out of work and searching for a job is now at its lowest level since June 2001, a reflection of the pace of hiring.

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