Economics News

April’s Economic Commentary by Dr. Simon Medcalfe

Coronavirus impact

The first data indicating the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Augusta area was released today (Thursday April 16th) by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the Augusta MSA increased 778% in March from February with over 9,000 new claims. However large this figure sounds, and is, Augusta actually had the second lowest percentage increase in claims in all of Georgia. Dalton saw claims increase “just” 443%.

The largest percentage increase was Savannah at 2,511% and nine out of the 14 Georgia MSA’s saw quadruple digit increases.

My calculations based on this new data suggest the unemployment rate for the Augusta MSA in March was about 7.5%.

The following table presents the county level data.

CountyNumber of new claims (March 2020)Percent increase from February
Burke204179%
Columbia2,9181,687%
Lincoln130813%
McDuffie330327%
Richmond4,560709%