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Columbus unemployment rate near pre-pandemic levels

One official says Georgia ranks first among the top ten states with the lowest unemployment rate.
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 7:19 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - If you’re in need of a job or extra cash, there are several businesses throughout Columbus hiring and offering great benefits.

A quick look around the city of Columbus and you’ll find many businesses looking for employees.

Many employers say they’ll offer competitive wages. Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson says for some of these positions, they’ll even hire you on the spot if you qualify.

“What’s really exciting is that we now have over 120 jobs in Columbus, Georgia, and that’s up 1,400 just from November to December and it’s up over 3,000 over this time last year,” said Mayor Henderson.

The increase in job openings means more positions need to be filled.

These factors have led to the city’s low unemployment rate of 2.8% However that’s only up one-tenth of a percent.

“One of the factors that can make your unemployment rate go up, is if you see a lot more people re-enter the workforce and start looking for work,” said Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “And we did see that happen during the month of December.”

Unemployment claims are also up 21%.

“But that’s not unusual according to our workforce investment folks. They say there’s always a little bump right after the holiday season because of seasonal workers.”

Another thing to mention -- both officials say unemployment claims are down 85% from 2020.

Mayor Henderson says Columbus City Council is also working on a pay plan study to assess how much workers are paid.

“We want to make sure that we’re paying a competitive wage and that we have a good opportunity to try to attract good qualified workers to the government,” said Mayor Henderson.

Officials say the city of Columbus and state of Georgia is recovering well from the pandemic.

“If you take the top 10 most populated states in America, right now, Georgia has the lowest unemployment rate of all the top 10 most populated states,” said Butler.

Mayor Henderson says among other positions, the city really needs more CDL, METRA and waste management drivers.

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