Sun, May 19, 2024

Simon Says: Employment levels break near 5-year mark

We have done it! The Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) employment has finally surpassed pre-covid levels. Employment now stands at 247,600, surpassing the pre-covid peak of 246,400. By contrast, the U.S. passed the pre-covid employment level in June 2022 and Georgia did in October 2021.

March was a strong month for jobs growth with the U.S. economy adding over 300,000 jobs and the Augusta MSA adding 2,100, the highest monthly increase since August 2020.

Pretty much, all the job gains were in professional and business services employment, which increased by 1,500.

Professional and business services consist of “professional, scientific, and technical services,” as well as “administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.” As such, this supersector includes firms as diverse as accounting, photographic services, veterinary services, cleaning, and waste disposal making it hard to determine what contributed to the growth.

Only two other sectors saw triple-digit job gains: government and leisure and hospitality. Only mining, logging, and construction recorded a fall in employment, and that was very small (about 20 jobs).

The national employment numbers were less strong, the economy adding 175,000 jobs in April raising hopes of interest rate cuts sooner rather than later.

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