Georgia’s unemployment rate in May falls to 5.3 percent

| June 16, 2016


ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was 5.3 percent, the lowest rate since January 2008, when it was also 5.3 percent. The rate was 5.5 percent in April. It was 5.9 percent in May 2015.

“May’s unemployment rate is the lowest we’ve had in eight years,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “The rate dropped because more Georgians were working, we had the fewest unemployed workers since the beginning of the recession, and our labor force continued to increase.”

Butler said the reasons for the decline in Georgia’s rate show a stark contrast to the decrease in the national jobless rate in the same period.

“The big reason for the drop in the national rate had nothing to do with employment or jobs,” Butler continued. “It all had to do with the fact that 458,000 people dropped out of the nation’s work force and that is not a good reason.”

The number of employed residents in Georgia rose by 14,571 to 4,601,711, while the number of unemployed residents fell by 10,240 to 255,467, its lowest level since December 2007.  The labor force grew by 4,331 to 4,857,178 in May. It has grown by 72,755 since the beginning of this year.

At the same time, employers created 200 jobs, pushing Georgia’s job total to 4,370,500. Sectors that grew in May were education and health services, 3,600; financial activities, 3,100; other services, 1,100; and construction, 400.

However, the growth in these sectors was offset by job losses in manufacturing, 2,900; professional and business services, 2,600; government, 1,900; leisure and hospitality, 400; trade, transportation and warehousing and information services, 100 each.

There was a strong over-the-year increase of 124,600 jobs, up by 2.9 percent from 4,245,900 in May 2015. The national job growth rate for the same period was 1.7 percent. The sectors in Georgia showing the largest increases were professional and business services, 30,000; trade, transportation and warehousing, 27,200; leisure and hospitality, 18,600; construction, 13,400; education and health services, 12,600 each. Also, government, 6,900; manufacturing, 6,700; financial activities, 6,300; and other services, 4,600. Information services lost 1,500 jobs.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, jumped by 15.1 percent to 30,325, with about one-third of those being temporary claims. Most of the increase was due to a rise in claims filed in manufacturing. And, over the year, the number of claims rose by 2,379, or 8.5 percent, from 27,946 filed in May 2015. The increase came mostly in manufacturing.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service, to search for jobs or recruit new employees.  In May, 63,508 jobs throughout the state were posted on Employ Georgia. The leading sectors for job postings were health care and social assistance, professional, scientific, and technical services, retail trade, finance and insurance, and transportation and warehousing.

“More than 60 percent of all the jobs posted on Employ Georgia require a two-year degree or higher, so there are some good jobs being posted right now,” Butler said. “If you’re an individual looking for work, I encourage you to go to Employ Georgia and take a look at what’s out there.”

To learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers, and to connect with us on social media, visit

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1 Comment on "Georgia’s unemployment rate in May falls to 5.3 percent"

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  1. Desire says:

    Why does the media even publish these statistics? Does anyone really believe them ? Monday it was Michigan with the lowest unemployment in 15 yrs.

    I am a millionaire if you don’t count my debt!!! Not including those who stopped seeking jobs is ludicrous. Why do they not seek work? Government hand-outs are so generous why work? You can’t blame the poor; but lets not kid ourselves as we spend ourselves into a hole.

    The question I propose…… does anyone believe the stats?