• Follow Business

Augusta's unemployment numbers rise to 7 percent in May

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate increased to 7 percent in May, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in April. The rate was 8 percent in May a year ago.

According to a news release, the rate increased as 1,300 jobs were lost in the leisure and hospitality sector, due largely to seasonal layoffs after the Masters Golf Tournament. The loss of jobs was partially offset by the gain of 800 new jobs in the professional and business services sector. Overall, the number of jobs decreased by 700, or 0.3 percent, to 220,900 in May from 221,600 in April.

However, over the year, the number of jobs increased by 1,300, or 0.6 percent, from 219,600 in May 2013, the state said. Most of the increase came in leisure and hospitality and professional and business services. Government lost 1,200 jobs.

In other news

Ikea is wading into the contentious minimum wage debate by raising pay in its U.S. stores. Ikea US will boost the average minimum hourly wage across its 38 retail locations to $10.76 beginning Jan. 1. That’s a 17 percent bump from its current $9.17-an-hour starting wage, and $3.51 above the federal minimum. About half of Ikea’s 11,000 hourly store workers will get a raise. How much will vary based on the cost of living in each store location.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
bentman 06/26/14 - 10:59 am
No surprise

Exactly as planned. Anything to increase dependency.

corgimom 06/26/14 - 11:04 am
Yes, it's no surprise, but

Yes, it's no surprise, but it's not about increasing dependency. Augusta has a 23% poverty rate, they don't need to increase dependency.

It's about terrible schools, lack of job opportunities, and a municipal government that is actively promoting call centers and tourism, two low-paying job sectors.

And it isn't going to get better until the school system improves and we get people in office that actually know what they are doing. Walter Sprouse isn't cutting it.

Gain Starbucks, lose P&G. How did Augusta improve by that?

corgimom 06/26/14 - 11:07 am
Walter Sprouse

Walter graduated with his degree in Mass Communications in 1973 and went to work for a local radio station in his hometown of Monroe. One of his co-workers, Doug Limerick, now does the morning news for ABC radio. The two became good friends, and Walter is the godfather of Limerick’s daughter, Leigh. While there, Walter took over a lot of the stringing duties for his father, who had passed away.

“If there was a news story in Monroe, I was going to be covering it for the radio station anyway,” Walter says. “I would just pull out my 16 millimeter camera and essentially do what my dad did.”

He left the radio station in 1978 to go to work for what is now Wingate University as the director of information, which was a public relations position for the school. It was a shift for Walter, as he was working with the media on behalf of the college instead of for the media. He was also a volunteer for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.

Traveling often to Orangeburg, SC, to visit the family of his wife, Claire, he passed through the city of Camden, which was approximately the halfway point on the trip. These travels attracted him to a job opening at the Camden Chamber of Commerce, and he worked in that position for seven years. He later headed up the chamber of commerce in Asheboro, NC, for 15 years, where he held several leadership roles in various state organizations.

After a couple of other brief stops, he came to Augusta in 2003 to work for the development authority. It was there that his career really took off.

“I started a lot of things from scratch as we did not have a marketing plan,” Walter says. “We had to come up with a new budget and got the organization back on track. We’ve had a number of very successful years here, and our economy has been recognized repeatedly for having one of the best in the United States.”

If Augusta has one of the best economies in the US- which is an outright fabrication- then God help the US!

countyman 06/26/14 - 12:13 pm

The poverty rate you continue to post is the average between 2008-2012 and not the poverty rate in 2014..

The unemployment rate includes the entire metro(Richmond, Aiken, Columbia, Mcduffie, Edgefield, Burke, and recently Aiken)..

The city of Augusta does not promote tourism compared to Charleston, Savannah, etc because were not a major tourist destination..

When did ADP, Zapata Technology, Rural Sourcing, EDTS, ESI, etc become call center jobs?

Butterman 06/26/14 - 12:16 pm
Masters Jobs

Why are temporary Masters jobs even counted in these totals? Naturally that will cause an artificial spike in April with a drop off in May's #s. It seems if we want to get a clearer picture of the state of unemployment in Augusta, we would discount jobs that are only around for one or two weeks out of the year.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Early voting in Augusta-area shows increase
Area early voting numbers are dwarfing turnout four years ago, particularly in Republican-leaning Columbia County, and forecast apossible record voting year for the Augusta area.