Georgia employment: less populous areas still losing jobs

At the end of my City Talk column today in the Savannah Morning News that begins with the Byrd Cookie Company’s new cafe, I mention the significant year-over-year decline in jobs in the Savannah metro area, which includes Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham counties.

I talked about that issue in a broader statewide context in a new post yesterday on Peach Pundit: Jobs recovery: a tale of two Georgias

In that post I noted that if we subtract the job growth in 4 central Georgia metros (Atlanta, Gainesville, Macon, and Athens) from the statewide total, then we’re in negative territory for the rest of the state. The economy technically left recession about 3 years ago, and we’re still seeing year-over-year job losses in most of the state?

In the post, I posit that the less populated areas of the state are simply lagging the housing bust. In the comments, I mention another possibility: the damage done to rural economies by the 2011 immigration law that has cost farmers tens of millions of dollars.

Here’s the latest graph for Savannah metro area payroll employment from the Ga. Department of Labor:

In that graph, you’re seeing some of the seasonality of employment — and you’re not seeing the big jump in jobs that we should see in this graph in the spring.

For those who missed the news, I’m now a regular contributor to Peach Pundit, the state’s most important political blog.