Unemployment in metro Atlanta dipped slightly this past September amid price increases and stagnating weekly earnings.
According to recently updated data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September’s unemployment rate for Atlanta and surrounding cities dropped from a year high of 3.7% in August to 3.4%, as total unemployment in the metropolitan statistical area decreased by nearly 10,000 employees.
Though this appears positive when compared to the nation’s unemployment rate of 3.6% this September and October, greater Atlanta has seen its unemployment rate increase almost a full percentage point over the past 12 months, rising from 2.7% as reported in September of 2022.
Unemployment rates in the metro area’s four main counties increased by similar margins year-over-year, with DeKalb County rising from 2.9% to 3.7%, Cobb County climbing from 2.4% to 3.1%, Fulton from 3% to 3.8% and Gwinnett from 2.5% to 3.1%.
The bureau released its set of national employment data for the month of October last week. According to that report, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the country came to 3.9%, a tenth of a percentage point increase from September.
Food costs have increased 5.2% year-over-year in the city and by an average of 4.3% nationwide, as measured this past August. Prices for goods overall witnessed an increase of 3.7% nationally and 4.4% across the Atlanta area.
Meanwhile, average weekly wages in the Atlanta MSA have increased somewhat since August but have yet to reach 2023’s peak of $1,185.55, which was established in January. For comparison, average weekly wages nationwide increased to $1,162.08 in September and again to $1,185.70 in October, setting a new annual high for 2023.