According to recently released data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Muscogee County, Chattahoochee County and the Columbus area have a higher average weekly wage than that of some neighboring counties. While the county average is higher than some neighbors, it is still below the national average.
The data from the BLS covers information collected during the third financial quarter for 2018 and compared data from 2017 to 2018, focusing on rates in December of both years.
Muscogee County averages $823 in wages per week across all industries, while Chattahooche County averages $847. Russell County averages $714 and Harris County comes in at $588 per week.
The Columbus area averages a weekly wage of $798.
Unemployment rates for December 2017 to 2018 show a trend decreasing in unemployment rates faster than the national average between 2017 to 2018 in Q3.
Nationally, unemployment rates in 2017-2018 went from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent in the third quarter, while in the Columbus area they went from 5.0 percent to 4.4, showing a larger decrease in unemployment but still a higher rate overall.
The unemployment statistics in this report refer to the U-3 unemployment rate, “U-3, unemployed as % of labor force (official unemployment rate)” according to the BLS. This category is the usual “official unemployment rate” used to compare averages in the U.S. and internationally and was originally defined by the International Labor Organization and excludes unemployment due to disability and underemployment.
Muscogee County had a similar change, dropping to 4.9 percent from 5.6 percent, while Harris County dropped from 3.7 percent to 3.3 percent and stayed below the national average. Chattahoochee County was farther above the national average than the Columbus area and Muscogee County with unemployment falling from 6.7 percent to 5.8 percent.
Russell County had no changes in its unemployment rate and remained at 3.5 percent for both years, below the national average and both the Columbus area and Muscogee County averages.
While the Columbus area still has a higher rate of unemployment than the country overall as well as the state of Georgia, which currently has an average unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, as of December 2018.