Experts: Drop in unemployment rate is not all good news
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
While the Nation added 74,000 jobs in December of 2013, it was not the 193,000 that experts had expected.
The unemployment rate did fall to 6.7 percent in December, but this good news has hidden bad news to go with it.
Dr. Ben Blair, an Associate Professor of Economics at Columbus State University explains that jobs increase in December. However, he also says that some factors might have played a role in dropping the job growth.
"The number didn't drop because new people were finding jobs," Dr. Blair said. "It's due to people dropping out of the labor force. I think there were a couple of reasons that made this happen. One was that the weather was bad, and this could have stalled construction jobs. The federal has started to reduce the money supply. I also think there are some uncertainty regarding labor costs and employers."
However, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says Columbus is doing well. Thousands of people were hired last year.
"We had lower unemployment rate," says Tomlinson. "It was about 9.8 percent back in 2011, and now we see it at 7.6 percent. We created 2,300 jobs this year in Columbus, and that puts us among some of the best performing communities in the state of Georgia."
Tomlinson says that the unemployment number dropped due to more jobs in the Chattahoochee Valley.
"Our population increased, and we are now the 116th largest city in America," Tomlinson explains. "We returned as the second largest city in the state of Georgia. Also, White Water, our parks and rec going from the worst to first in the state, along with other businesses openings create more jobs."
Those who cannot find jobs are encouraged to visit the Georgia Department of Labor on Veterans Pkwy in Columbus.
Cynthia Pobbig, Assistant Manager of the Georgia Department of Labor's Career Center, says, "Some can apply for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are taxes that your former employer has to pay, if you are unemployed for no fault of your own. Basically, it is something that can assist you while you transition from one job to the next."
The career center offers free workshops to polish resumes and cover letters. The staff also helps job seekers with the interviewing process, and helps them manage stress. The department of labor offers these services for free. Residents can call their number at 706-649-742 to sign up for the classes.
Not everyone can get unemployment benefits. They have to meet some requirements. Visit the website at www.dol.state.ga.us to search for jobs, workshops, and even check other states for employment.