Georgia continues recession recovery

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2016

By Tyler H. Jones

ATLANTA – Georgia’s recovery from the Great Recession continued in January, with the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipping to 5.4 percent, down from 5.5 percent in December.

The last time Georgia’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent was in February 2008, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Labor.

“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.”

Local unemployment rates for January, which would include Troup County, are slated to be released March 24.

In January, the state added about 100 jobs, bringing the statewide total to about 4.3 million. That number is up by about 120,000 jobs, or 2.8 percent, from this time last year.

“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 11 major job sectors we track.”

While the number of jobs increased, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by slightly more than 6,300, 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, according to the state labor department.

Overall, 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, according to the state labor department.

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.

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

A press release from the Georgia Department of Labor contributed to this report. Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.