Major statistics such as unemployment and non-farm jobs are continuing to show improvement in key markets throughout the Southeast, a sign that these positive trends should continue in the fourth quarter.
Unemployment is showing signs of improvement or stabilization on a monthly basis. Florida’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in August, the same rate as July. This marks a slight improvement from 3.7% in August 2018. Similarly, Georgia’s unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7% in July and August, a decrease from 4.0% a year earlier.
Non-farm jobs are also on the rise. In Atlanta, employees on non-farm payrolls grew by 1.5% from August 2018 to August 2019, while Miami and Orlando experienced 2.0% and 4.0% growth, respectively. With retailers gearing up for the holiday season, we anticipate growth in manufacturing and non-durable goods within the next couple of months.
ManpowerGroup’s recent survey indicated 22% of companies in the U.S., as well as 22% of companies in the South, intend to increase staff levels in the fourth quarter. In the South, durable goods manufacturing sector employers report a slight improvement in hiring intentions when compared to the previous quarter. Meanwhile, hiring prospects are slightly weaker in five industry sectors across the South, including construction, financial activities, government, other services, and professional and business services industries.