The unemployment rate in the metro-Athens area rose to 5.2 percent in June, which is less than the June rate in 2016 of 5.8 percent, but is seven-tenths higher than the 4.8 percent unemployment rate in May.
Unemployment rates classifies unemployed people as those who are willing and available to work and who have actively sought work within the past four weeks, as well as not already having a part-time or full-time job. Those who do at least 15 hours of unpaid family work are also considered employed.
The core reason for the rate’s increase was an influx of new people entering the labor force, mostly recently graduated high school and college students, while the number of jobs remained fairly constant.
The labor force is made up of all employed and unemployed people. Calculating the unemployment rate consists of dividing the number of unemployed residents by the number of people in the labor force and then multiplying the ratio by 100.
Between May and June, the amount of unemployed people actively looking for jobs raised by 1,049, making the Athens labor force rise to a total of 100,126. However compared to June of 2016, there were 377 less unemployed residents in 2017.
However despite the rise in the rate, there were overall 233 more residents employed in Athens in June than in May, moving the total number of employed residents from 94,650 to 94,883 people. Additionally, the number of employed Athens residents in June is higher than June of 2016, increasing by 2,900 people.
Overall, the unemployment rate throughout the state of Georgia was lower in June than in May, dropping from 4.9 percent to 4.8 percent, still lower than June of 2016’s rate of 5.3 percent.
For Georgia, the unemployment rate in June is the lowest it has been in all of 2017. In Athens, the lowest unemployment rate of 2017 was in January at 2.5 percent, with June being the second lowest monthly rate of the year.
Athens unemployment reached an all-time high since in June of 2011, reaching 9.9 percent. Despite being over twice the unemployment rate in June, it was still less than Georgia’s June of 2011 rate, which was 10.1 percent.
The lowest Athens unemployment has ever been was in November and December of 1999, reaching over half of June’s rate at 2.2 percent.