Georgia’s unemployment rate declines to 5.4 percent in January

| March 3, 2016

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 5.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.5 percent in December. The rate was 6.3 percent in January 2015.

“We’re starting the new year with the lowest unemployment rate we’ve had in almost eight years,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We had 18,328 more people working in January than in December and 92,649 more than in January of last year.

The last time Georgia’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent was in February 2008.

There were 4,330,200 jobs in January, 100 more than in December, but 119,300, or 2.8 percent, more than in January of 2015.

“Georgia employers continue to add jobs at a stronger pace than the national over-the-year job growth rate of 1.9 percent,” said Butler. “We had job growth in nine of the eleven major job sectors we track.”

Most of the over-the-year job growth came in professional and business services, 32,800; trade, transportation and warehousing, 25,700; leisure and hospitality, 21,900; manufacturing, 12,900; construction, 9,800; education and health services, 9,500; financial activities, 6,600; other services, 2,300; and government, 400. Information services lost 2,500 jobs, while mining and logging lost 100.

While the number of jobs increased, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 6,311, or 13.2 percent, to 54,220 in January. Most of the rise was due to an increase in temporary claims filed in the manufacturing of textiles and transportation equipment, along with wholesale and retail trade and administrative and support services, which includes temporary employment agencies.

However, over the year, the number of claims was down by 2,974, or 5.2 percent, from 57,194 filed in January 2015. The decrease came mostly in retail trade, transportation and warehousing, along with administrative and support services.

In January, the state’s labor force increased by 16,580 to 4,801,003.

Butler said job seekers and employers should use the GDOL’s online job listing service, Employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In January, 88,767 jobs throughout the state were posted on Employ Georgia.

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