Unemployment claims up nationwide but not in Georgia

Jobless claims released had an unexpected spike. This brings on fears that the economy is in a position to stall. But there’s also good news for employees of the country’s largest retailer.

First, this rise in unemployment claims marks a four-week high. As we know recovery has been up and down since March of last year. The US Department of Labor announced yesterday another 861,000 unemployment claims filed since last week. That’s two weeks in a row we’ve seen this. The numbers are rising really from surges in Illinois and California.

But not all is bad. In Georgia, claims are down by 6,000. 

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Also, the Georgia labor commissioner reports that 95 percent of their regular unemployment claims have been processed. Georgia’s unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent, almost a point lower than the nation’s. 

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced raises. An average of $15 an hour will go to 425,000 workers. Starting mid-March, employees in stocking and digital positions will jump up to $19 an hour depending on store locations. 

Rivals Amazon and Target raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s higher than Walmart’s entry hourly rate, but Walmart boosts wages in other departments. 

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