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Georgia's personal income grew at 0.3 % in third quarter


AP: Personal income grows 0.3% in third quarter. 

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its figures for personal income growth in each state for the third quarter. Personal income grew at a rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter in Georgia. This growth is significantly slower than the 0.7 percent growth rate during the second quarter. 

The composition of Georgia's income growth is also concerning. Government transfer payments, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and government stimulus payments, accounted for the vast majority of the state's increase in income. In order for the state's economy to recover, our income growth needs to come more from our earnings and less from transfer payments.

The U.S. personal income growth did contain more net earnings in the third quarter, which is a good sign for the national economy. While income growth in the second quarter was composed almost entirely of government transfer payments, income growth in the third quarter contained more net earnings. This positive change is due in part to the decline in the number of claims for jobless benefits. Last month's unemployment insurance claims are at a 12-month low. So although the unemployment rate remains high, the tide may be turning.

For Georgia, however, the news is not as rosy. Unemployment remains above the national average, and the percentage of people on unemployment insurance is the highest in the Southeast. Georgia's labor force has been hard-hit in industries such as manufacturing, banking, travel, and leisure. None of these industries shows much signs of improvement. Georgia's unemployment rate is likely to remain above the national average throughout the fourth quarter as well.

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