Atlanta Adds Jobs, Zaps Unemployment Numbers

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor Atlanta employers seem to be regaining confidence in the economy’s improvement, according to the last unemployment figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor. GDOL announced that last month’s significant drop in unemployment rates is encouraging, [...]

Atlanta employers seem to be regaining confidence in the economy’s improvement, according to the last unemployment figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor. GDOL announced that last month’s significant drop in unemployment rates is encouraging, since March was the second consecutive month of job growth.
Credit must be given to initiatives such as Hire One Atlanta, launched in March by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in collaboration with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the Atlanta Business League, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta Society for Human Resource Management and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc.

This public-private partnership aims at challenging employers to hire at least one new employee in 2011. In return, the companies will get to place an ad in the aforementioned publication that will run every week, throughout the year. So far, the Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported that more than 6,500 people have been hired as a result of the Hire One Atlanta Initiative, in roughly 900 metro Atlanta companies that have chosen to get involved.

McDonald’s Corp. has also made a contribution, and a rather significant one, reporting that it plans on hiring more than 1,000 new managers and crew members this week for its 277 metro Atlanta restaurants. The Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operators Association declared that an average of four employees per store will be hired. This activity reinforces last month’s unemployment numbers, which indicated the hospitality and leisure industries—particularly bars and restaurants—are seeing the most new job openings, with 60 percent of the 15,600 new jobs available in the state of Georgia.

Manufacturing also reports as many as 2,100 net new hires for March, and other industries such as computer design, warehousing, educational services, electronic equipment and transportation have also added jobs.

A significant decrease was also registered in claims for unemployment insurance benefits, as the previous month 50,331 laid-off workers filed initial claims for benefits, a decrease of 9.4 from February. Compared to March 2010, there was a 27.3 percent year-over-year decrease in initial claims.

Although Georgia’s unemployment rate has been higher than the rest of the nation’s for the past 42 consecutive months, the recent reports leave room for hope.