Georgia’s employers are creating “record numbers” of jobs, pushing the state’s unemployment rate lower from 4.9 percent in May to 4.8 percent in June.
That compares to a rate of 5.3 percent in June a year ago. Furthermore, the current jobless rate hasn’t been this low this September 2007, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. This also is the fifth month in a row that the Peach State’s rate has declined.
“Georgia’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in almost 10 years because our employers continue to create jobs and put record numbers of people to work,” State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “We now have record highs for the number of employed individuals, the labor force size and total number of jobs in Georgia.”
It was a solid job-creation month in June, the agency said, with employers adding 27,400 jobs in all, bringing the state total to 4,496,000. That’s more than twice the typical 12,100 May-to-June job increase over the past three years, the department said.
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Sectors contributing to the increase included leisure and hospitality (9,200 new jobs); professional and business services (8,500); other services to include repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services (5,700); education and health services (5,600); state and local government (2,100); information services (1,100); and trade, transportation and warehousing and financial activities (1,000 apiece). Sectors losing jobs were construction (4,000) and manufacturing (3,000).
Year over year, the state has created 122,600 jobs, with those gains coming in professional and business services (37,400 new jobs); leisure and hospitality (21,900); education and health services (18,100); trade, transportation and warehousing (17,900); financial activities (10,000); government (8,300); information services (4,500); other services (3,900); and construction (2,000). Manufacturing has shed 2,500 jobs.
The department also reported that Georgia’s labor force rose by nearly 3,400 in June to 5,038,712, with some of that due to high school and college students jumping into the job market. The labor force is comprised of people who have jobs and those who don’t but are actively seeking work. The labor force was 4,903,771 in June a year ago.
Metro area data released Thursday show Columbus adding 700 jobs over the past year, bringing the area’s total to 120,800. The only metro areas in Georgia to create fewer jobs over the past 12 months are Hinesville (600 jobs), Valdosta (500) and Brunswick (300). Atlanta has added 94,100 positions, with Savannah and Augusta gaining 3,700 and 3,200, respectively.
In the category of initial, or first-time, filings for unemployment assistance, Georgia has seen an overall decline year over year from 27,295 to 25,638. The number of initial claims, which indicate new layoffs, are up by 216 in Columbus, bringing its total to 832 in June. Every metro area in Georgia, except Columbus, Valdosta, Augusta and Athens, saw declines in such unemployment assistance filings.
The labor department is scheduled to release metro area unemployment rates for June next week. The Columbus rate in May was 5.5 percent.
Metro area job totals
Here are the June 2017 jobs totals for Georgia’s metro areas:
▪ Atlanta — 2,759,800
▪ Augusta — 237,200
▪ Savannah — 180,400
▪ Columbus — 120,800
▪ Macon — 103,400
▪ Athens — 96,300
▪ Gainesville — 89,500
▪ Warner Robins — 74,400
▪ Dalton — 70,700
▪ Albany — 62,200
▪ Valdosta — 56,400
▪ Brunswick — 44,700
▪ Rome — 41,400
▪ Hinesville — 20,200