The number of formally employed Georgians decreased by 12.2% y/y in Q1 to 782,000, implying that around 108,000 jobs were wiped out by the coronavirus-driven crisis that mostly hit the “HoReCa” food service and hotel industries sector of a country that is reliant on tourism.
Georgia’s unemployment rate hit 21.9% in Q1, up by 3.7pp y/y. And the increase would have been steeper if some 80,000 Georgians had simply given up seeking a job. The population outside the labour force, the active population, exceeded for the first time in recent years half of the working-age population as labour force participation rate dropped to 48.3% of the active population, down from 51.3% last year.
The number of unemployed people in Georgia increased by nearly 35,000 to 317,500 in Q1, accounting for 10.6% of the working age population (or 21.9% of the active population).
While this was not the highest unemployment in recent years (the jobless rate was higher in Q1 of 2018), the low number of jobs is a more significant concern for social impact and economic growth. Compared to the first quarter of 2018 (when the number of people seeking a job was 9% bigger than in Q1 this year), the jobs count in Georgia’s economy dropped by 9.3%, or by 80,000. As compared to the pre-crisis period, the jobless rate should be adjusted to reflect discouraged workers who have given up hope of finding a job, at least for a good while.
|Georgia: Labour Force [thous]||Q1 18||Q1 19||Q1 20||Q2 20||Q3 20||Q4 20||Q1 21||% y/y||000s y/y|
|Total 15 + population||3038.3||3029.2||3013.1||3012.9||3036.8||3011.3||2994.8||-0.6%||-18.3|
|Labour force (Active population), total||1592.0||1593.2||1545.2||1515.0||1528.9||1505.7||1447.2||-6.3%||-98.0|
|Population outside the labour force||1446.2||1435.9||1467.8||1497.9||1507.9||1505.6||1547.6||5.4%||79.7|
|Unemployment rate, percentage||21.7||19.7||18.3||18.3||17.0||20.4||21.9||20.0%||3.7|
|Labour force participation rate (Economic activity rate), percentage||52.4||52.6||51.3||50.3||50.3||50.0||48.3||-3.0||-3.0|
|Employment rate, percentage||41.0||42.2||41.9||41.1||41.8||39.8||37.7||-10.0%||-4.2|