Wed, April 24, 2024

Simon Says: Bucking the trend

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobless rates were up in 218 of the 389 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in January. Augusta bucked the trend with the unemployment rate falling from 3.8% in December to 3.7% in January. Unfortunately, payroll jobs also fell, but by just 200.

Despite the small change in overall employment in Augusta, some sectors saw large changes in employment for the first month of the year. The largest increase was in retail with jobs increasing by 180, followed by leisure and hospitality, up about 150. Government jobs increased by 200, with local government jobs increasing, state jobs decreasing, and no change in federal jobs. Both manufacturing, education, and health services jobs increased by about 100.

Professional and business services saw the largest fall in jobs, of 400. Transportation and utilities fell by about 150 and other services by 125. Financial activities, information, and wholesale trade saw no change in employment.

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Of concern are mining, logging, and construction. Payroll jobs fell by 150, leaving employment in this sector at the lowest level in almost 10 years.

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