(The Center Square) — A week after reporting Georgia’s June seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit an all-time low, new numbers show the state’s unemployment rate increased.
Last week, officials said Georgia’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June 2022 was 2.9%, below the national rate of 3.6%. The state’s rate decreased from 5.4% in June 2021.
On Thursday, the Georgia Department of Labor said the state’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.3% in June, up from 2.7% in May but down from 4.5% in June 2021. The agency said that all “regional commissions” saw their unemployment rates rise.
“While the seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate went down in June, it is important to note that local area rates are not seasonally adjusted to take account for fluctuations due to seasonal events that include weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in an announcement. “The increase in local rates is typical for summer and Georgia is still leading the Southern Region and third in the nation in percentage increases in employment.”
The news came the same day the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product decreased by 0.9% in the second quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Economists typically say consecutive quarters of negative growth indicate a recession, though President Joe Biden and his administration have tried to rewrite the definition.
“There has never been a time when the Business Cycle Dating Committee did not declare a recession when real GDP declined for two consecutive quarters since the availability of quarterly GDP data,” Erik Randolph, director of research for the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), said in a statement. “In fact, the opposite is true. There have been two times, since the availability of the data, without two consecutive real GDP declines when the Committee declared them to be recessions. This happened with their declared 1960 and 2001 recessions.
“Who knows if and when the NBER Committee will declare whether we’re already in a recession, and for how long,” Randolph added. “But if it doesn’t declare so despite the real GDP data, it would be unprecedented and require a good explanation. In the meantime, GDP gives perhaps the broadest measure of economic activity, giving a strong signal that we’re in a recession until such time economists work out their various methodologies to affirm or deny.”
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