Commissioner: Wage will increase drive up shopper prices in Georgia

ATLANTA — Georgia’s statewide wages are rising and the unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 3.1% in March from February’s revised rate of 3.2%.

Georgia’s unemployment rate was five-tenths of a percent below the March 2022 national unemployment rate of 3.6%, said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

“Due to a very tight labor market, wages and benefits need to be increased and we are now seeing the highest number of Georgians ever employed and participating in the labor force,” Butler said. “And with a record number of jobs being created, we have a situation where that will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

“Many of the sectors that have weathered significant hardships during the pandemic are now required to offer higher wages and better benefit packages to put employees into open positions so they can do business,” Butler said.

“Labor costs are being recouped by rising costs for consumers, which is one of the main reasons for our current rise in inflation. Inflation will be long-lasting, if not permanent, if driven by a wage increase.”

The average wage gap from February 2020 to February 2022 was over 9%. Some of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic saw wage increases in excess of 10%, including leisure and hospitality with a 20.4% increase and healthcare with a 10.6% increase. Professional and Business Services, which includes administrative and support services, saw a 9.3% pay increase.

Butler also announced a new all-time high number of employed Georgians of 5.086 million, up from 17,667 in March. The labor force hit an all-time high at 5.25 million, up 16,498 during the month, and the number of unemployed fell 1,169 to 165,045, the lowest since June 2001.

The number of jobs in Georgia hit an all-time high of 4.7 million, up 12,100 from February to March and up 234,400 for the year. The sectors with the most job gains during the month included professional, scientific and technical services, 4,500, administrative and support services, 2,000, healthcare and social assistance, 1,300, education services, 900, and real estate and rental and leasing, 700.

The number of jobs was at an all-time high in Trade and Transportation, 999,800, including the Transportation and Warehousing sector, 266,700, in Financial Activities, 265,600, in Professional and Business Services, 779,900, including the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector, 317,500 and im administrative and support services sector 371,500; and in education and healthcare 625,500, including healthcare and social assistance sector 530,100.

Sectors with the most job gains over the year included accommodation and food services (34,100), administrative and support services (29,900), professional, scientific and technical services (26,100), retail (21,700), healthcare and social assistance (21,200), transportation and warehousing, 16,900; wholesale trade, 10,200; durable goods manufacturing, 9,600; consumable goods manufacturing, 8,600; and educational services, 8,300. has over 212,000 jobs listed online, resulting in at least over 310,000 vacancies. Employers with over 1,000 job postings included Dollar General, 2,600, Wellstar Health System, 2,000, Walmart, 1,300, Marriott International, 1,200, Price Waterhouse 1,100, and Anthem Blue Cross 1,000.

Industries with over 10,000 job postings included healthcare (33,000), manufacturing (20,000), retail (19,000), lodging and catering services (17,000), professional, scientific and technical services (13,000), finance and insurance (12,000 ) and transportation and warehousing (10,000).

Market salaries for the jobs listed on Employ Georgia range from $23,000 to $101,000, for an average salary of $42,000.

Initial claims fell by 2,995 (14%) from February to 19,082 in March. During the year, initial claims fell by 124,328 (87%).

For personal assistance, employers can contact the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) staff at Additionally, employers can manage job openings and access the state’s talent pool by visiting Employ Georgia. GDOL Career Centers offer in-person job placements by appointment. Job seekers can contact their local career centers at for assistance.

For more information, visit Georgia LaborMarket Explorer to view a comprehensive report.