Georgia Unemployment Rate dips below 6%

| September 17, 2015

Jobs

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 5.9 percent. The rate was 6.0 percent in July. It was 7.1 percent in August 2014.

“This is the first time Georgia’s unemployment rate has dropped below six percent since May 2008,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “The rate declined as our employers laid off the fewest workers for any month in more than 15 years and continued to create jobs.”

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 9,152 or 25.8 percent, to 26,335 in August, the fewest since 25,014 new claims were filed in May 2000. Most of the decrease in August was due to a decline in temporary claims filed in manufacturing and administrative and support services, which includes temporary employment agencies.

And, over the year, claims were down by 4,787, or 15.4 percent, from 31,122 filed in August 2014. The decline came mostly in manufacturing.

The number of jobs in Georgia increased to 4,260,300 in August, up by 2,200, or 0.1 percent, from July. The growth came mainly in the construction industry, which added 2,400 jobs. Other industries that gained jobs were finance and insurance, 1,300; education and health services, 800; other services, such as repair and maintenance, 800; leisure and hospitality, 600; and information services, 500.

The job gains were offset somewhat by losses in government, 2,500; professional, scientific and technical services, 2,200; manufacturing, 1,100; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 400.

However, over-the-year, the number of jobs in Georgia grew by 2.0 percent, from 4,177,100 in August 2014. The national job-growth rate was 2.1 percent. Most of the job growth in Georgia came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 29,800; professional and business services, 19,100; leisure and hospitality, 18,900; education and health services, 14,100; finance and insurance, 4,900; construction, 2,200; manufacturing, 1,700; and information services, 1,200. Government lost 7,100 jobs.

Georgia’s continuing job growth increases the existing demand for skilled workers. The Georgia Department of Economic Development recently announced that it has received a $3 million federal grant to help address the skills-shortage issue. The grant will fund work-based training programs for 30 companies throughout Georgia who are committed to hiring 400 apprentices.

“We see that as the beginning of work that we’re going to be able to do with small, medium and large companies around the state to help them build apprenticeships and other work-based programs to fill hard-to-fill and hard-to-train positions,” said Ben Hames, deputy commissioner of the Workforce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Hames said more information will soon be released about Georgia Worksmart, a new program which will help companies launch apprenticeship programs.

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