Labor Day was an enjoyable time for many of us celebrating the last holiday of the summer and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, it was also a poignant reminder that many people are unemployed in the U.S. and Georgia.
According to figures released Friday by the Department of Labor, the U.S. lost 54,000 jobs in August, mostly due to the layoffs of census workers and their return to the workforce. While the private sector added 67,000 jobs, the government job losses kept the national unemployment rate at 9.6 percent. 14.9 million people are unemployed. When you add in the number of people who have given up looking for work, real unemployment is over 17 percent.
Things are even worse in Georgia. The latest figures for the state are for July, when statewide unemployment stood at 9.9 percent, which is above the national average. It was well over 10 percent earlier this year, and the July decline was due primarily to the number of people who have stopped looking for jobs. Over half of unemployed Georgians have been out of work six months or more.
According to the Georgia Department of Labor, in the rural parts of the 12th District, July unemployment was just under 12 percent!
Everywhere I go, people are asking “Where are the jobs?” Those who don’t have jobs are having a tough time finding them, and those who do have jobs are worried about losing them. And the prospects aren’t getting any better, with many economists predicting a double-dip recession.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be traveling throughout the 12th District to unveil my plan for putting Georgians back to work. I’ll save the details for later, but let’s just say the main emphasis is on stopping job-killing tax hikes, lowering the tax burden on families and small businesses, reducing spending, and easing regulations. I hope to meet and talk with many of you then.
Yours for a healthy economy and a better Georgia,