Commissioner: ‘We are trying to get Georgians back to work’
by Rebecca Johnston
rjohnston@cherokeetribune.com
August 14, 2013 09:11 PM | 1155 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff/Todd Hull<br>
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler spoke to the Rotary Club of Canton on Tuesday afternoon about unemployment in the state.
Staff/Todd Hull
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler spoke to the Rotary Club of Canton on Tuesday afternoon about unemployment in the state.
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CANTON — Georgia State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler told the Rotary Club of Canton the state’s economy is showing positive signs of recovery and that the latest unemployment figures, due out today, were expected to reflect the news.

Butler spoke at the club’s noon meeting Tuesday at the Cherokee County Conference Center to a crowd of about 50.

“We are trying to get Georgians back to work. We hear from employers that they have jobs and no one to fill them,” Butler said. “We need a skilled labor force, such as welders and machinists.”

He said that employers are also looking for workers with “soft skills” such as work ethic, punctuality, appropriate dress and dependability.

The state Labor Department had worked to implement Georgia Best, a program to help high school seniors with their work force skills that is now in 170 schools, he said.

“We must supply the right kind of work force,” he said.

Butler also said his office is striving to take care of returning veterans who need to re-enter the work force after serving their country.

“Returning veterans get the VIP treatment by our office,” he said.

Butler said that even though the unemployment figure went up the last two months, that did not mean the economy is faltering.

He said jobs in the private sector are on the rise in the state, and that government jobs are the ones that are being eliminated.

“The government is shedding jobs. If you take out the government job losses, the state is actually gaining in the private sector,” Butler said.

Jobs in construction are seeing a dramatic increase, a clear indicator that the economy is picking up, he said.

“This is the thing that fuels everything. For five months in a row we have seen a bump up in construction jobs and that is the best news we have seen in a long time,” Butler said. “Does that mean we are out of the woods? Absolutely not.”

He also warned of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who are charging employers fines for filling out paperwork incorrectly, even when they are not employing illegal workers.

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