Metro Valdosta’s unemployment rate declines to 4.9 percent in February

| March 30, 2017

ATLANTAThe Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that Metro Valdosta’s unemployment rate in February was 4.9 percent, down five-tenths of a percentage point from 5.4 percent in January. In February 2016, the rate was 5.3 percent.

The rate declined as more people went to work and employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers.

The number of employed residents increased by 360 to 61,293, as the labor force remained unchanged at 64,444. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs.

The number of jobs increased by 500, or 0.9 percent, to 56,200. The job growth came in the service industries such as trade, transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction. State government added 200 jobs.

Over the year, 1,000 jobs were added, a 1.8 percent growth rate, up from 55,200 in February 2016. The job growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 273, or 55.8 percent, to 216. Most of the decrease came in construction and manufacturing, along with arts, entertainment and recreation. Over the year, claims were down by 20, or 8.5 percent, from 236 in February 2016.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.1 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent in January. It was also 5.5 percent in February 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the GDOL’s online job listing service to search for jobs or recruit new employers. In February, 486 new job openings in Valdosta were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 65,461 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data are not seasonally-adjusted.

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