Editorial Summary: Views from across Georgia |  editorial

Brunswick News.: Jobs are still plentiful despite low unemployment

There’s an interesting dichotomy when you look at the state’s unemployment numbers.

According to Capitol Beat News Service, the unemployment rate in Georgia remained stable at 3.1% in April. This mark tied the March rate to its lowest-ever unemployment rate. The state also added 19,000 jobs to reach an all-time high of 4.76 million.

All of this is undoubtedly good news. But someone hearing this might be a little confused as to why many of our local businesses still have so many “Now Hiring” signs posted.

All you have to do is look at the number of jobs listed on EmployGeorgia.com to see that there are still many companies suffering from labor shortages. According to Capitol Beat, the site lists 227,000 job vacancies.

Some industries are more affected than others. EmployGeorgia lists 36,000 healthcare job openings with 23,000 manufacturing jobs and 18,000 retail jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to play a role in all of these issues. Some people lost their jobs during the pandemic and have not returned. Some chose to leave their positions voluntarily due to a variety of factors, mostly centered around the search for a better work-life balance, a phenomenon referred to as “great resignation”.

The strain on healthcare workers from the pandemic has undoubtedly been detrimental to this industry. Being on the frontlines of a global pandemic that has killed over a million Americans is likely to stop even the most ardent doctors, nurses and other staff to contemplate what their future might hold.

While unemployment is low, it has not dampened labor demand. That should be good news for anyone still trying to find a job. However, some of the burden will fall on the companies that are hiring to adapt to these competitive times.

Workers are in demand, which means a skilled worker can afford to charge what he thinks he deserves for his job. For this reason we have even seen our local county and city governments grant their workers raises as both try not only to retain the workers they have but also to attract new workers to join their ranks.

With inflation remaining an issue and gas prices still much higher than at this time last year, prospective workers could be less picky going forward. One thing is for sure. No matter what the numbers say, there is still a huge need for workers across almost every industry.

Rome News-Tribune: Make elections boring again

It’s true, we’ve covered primaries, election days, runoffs – all of that – for decades, and generally the most excited people are the candidates and we, the journalists, watching these processes. Nobody else cares much about it in general.

Web traffic to elections is always light, but there are a number of people who really care about each election cycle (we like to call them our readers, and thanks). Many simply check out and most never bothered to check in.

Then came 2020.

Well, to be fair, nationally, let’s go back to 2016 when the Russians were trying to sway the presidential election. That happened, but President Donald Trump was still legitimately elected. Oh, and don’t forget 2018, when the Georgia Democrats implied, without evidence, that then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp influenced his election for governor.

But then it was 2020 again. Wild, ridiculous conspiracy theories were popping up like spewing volcanoes everywhere. People who had never bothered to vote or pay attention before suddenly became voting experts. Trump used his now-banned Twitter account to share videos that drove conspiracy theories about local — yes local — members of the Floyd County Elections Board off the charts.

The unfortunate truth in Floyd County is that the issue originated with one person, the then Chief Election Commissioner, and it is still in the process of resolution.

Here are a few points:

• The electoral office discovered the facts during an examination (by the way, an examination is used for this).

• The polling station has admitted the problem (as we would hope for a government agency).

• The polling station fixed this problem and counted and certified all ballots.

• The person responsible for this issue has been fired.

What else can you ask for? Not much more really. But people who want to cling to whatever makes them appear right do so despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Honestly, that’s what conspiracy theorists are all about, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

However, we are here to tell you that mistakes have been made time and time again on pre-election day and election night. Always.

If we draw on former editors, reporters, and contributors who have all been ground zero on election nights over the past few decades, the consensus is that there’s almost always been a snafu or two. and they were all fixed.

If they were fixed and the problem wasn’t permanent, we generally didn’t report on them.

We took care of the fact that for years our county was one of the last or in the last third to report election results to the Secretary of State’s office on election night. But nobody else. Then Trump lost the election and some of his supporters, like our congressman, began aggressively spreading untruths. They have done so to this day.

The 2020 presidential election and the months after it has been a tense time that has continued to prove unhealthy for our nation, and we want things to return to normal.

So make elections boring again.

We won’t be bored, believe us. Most journalists live for election day.

Here treasures of knowledge that are useless in other places become valuable. Can you imagine presenting voting law or voting procedures as a topic of conversation at a party?

You pay us to pay attention to the little things, and we do it because we love it. But the accusations, threats and ridiculous behavior, especially on a journalist’s salary, have grown old.

The fact is, this 24/7 political scene is exhausting. The basis for the gripes isn’t true and, let’s be fair, the people who gripe don’t really care.