Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped from 6.3 percent in May to 6.1 percent in June, with the ranks of the unemployed declining and a slight increase in new jobs.
The June figure, reported Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor, compares to 7.3 percent one year ago.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler pointed out the current rate is at its lowest level in seven years. He said the number of Georgians classified as unemployed dropped by 8,431 across the state, while there were 2,300 jobs created in June, bringing the total to 4,254,000.
“As we look at the over-the-year picture, our employers created 106,000 jobs since June of last year,” Butler said. “Our job growth rate of 2.6 percent remains higher than the national rate of 2.1 percent and Georgia continues to be a national leader in job creation.”
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The department said the state experienced May-to-June job gains in government, trade, transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, education and health services. But countering that were job losses in the sectors of leisure, hospitality, professional and business services, information services and construction.
The 2,300 positions generated by employers in June compares to an average of 8,300 jobs created in that month over the past three years.
Year over year, the department said, Georgia has added 32,100 jobs in trade, transportation and warehousing, 25,700 in professional and business services, 21,800 in leisure and hospitality, 17,800 in education and health services, 6,300 in manufacturing, 4,200 in financial activities, and 900 in construction. It has lost 1,300 government positions.
Another key unemployment barometer showed Georgia experiencing a rise in first-time filings for jobless benefits, with just over 32,600 individuals seeking assistance in June, up nearly 4,700 from May. Compared to a year ago, such claims were nearly 5,300 lower at about 37,900.
June metro area data released Thursday show Columbus picking up 1,900 jobs from a year ago, with the current job count at 124,600. Every metro area in the state added positions, with the exceptions of Valdosta, Albany and Warner Robins.
First-time unemployment filings by those newly laid off from their employers slipped by 61 year over year in the Columbus area, with 817 local residents submitting claims in June. Hinesville and Rome were the only metro areas to see increases in that category.
The labor department will release June jobless rates for the state’s metro areas next week. The Columbus-area rate in May was 7.1 percent, up from 6.6 percent in April.
Here are the June 2015 job totals for Georgia’s metro areas:
Atlanta — 2,579,300
Augusta — 228,700
Savannah — 169,400
Columbus — 124,600
Macon — 102,200
Athens — 91,500
Gainesville — 82,800
Warner Robins — 69,700
Dalton — 68,700
Albany — 60,200
Valdosta — 54,000
Brunswick — 42,400
Rome — 40,100
Hinesville — 20,000