Unemployment stays under 5 percent locally

Published 8:13 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

This week the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced that the May unemployment rate for Troup County was 4.5 percent, which was up from April’s 4.3 percent, but down from May 2016’s 4.6 percent. The state unemployment rate for May was 4.9 percent.

“Our unemployment rate is below the state average which is a very good sign for us,” County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said. “I hear every day about new houses that are being built. We (on the Troup county Board of Commissioners) are about to vote on a proposed 49 new house subdivision on Bartley Road.”

That construction has been the hot topic of local political meetings for years now. Recent studies show that Troup County has a below average number of available homes in the preferred price range of potential residents. Between April and May alone, Troup County saw its total labor force rise by 298 workers, with 151 of those workers in LaGrange. In fact, there were 558 more people in the labor force in May 2017 than May 2016.

The City of LaGrange’s unemployment hits just above the state average at 5.2 percent in May, which is up from April’s 4.8 percent, but down from May 2016’s 5.3 percent.

The Three Rivers region where Troup County is located had a 4.8 percent unemployment rate for May, unchanged from April. In May 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for the region.

While the unemployment rate for the Three Rivers region was unchanged, there were 894 more area residents employed in May than in April, pushing the total number to 233,209. The increase in the number of employed residents in May grew by 7,140 from May 2016. In LaGrange, there were 85 more area residents employed in May than in April, pushing the city’s total to 14,540, and the city saw an increase of 235 employed residents from May 2016. Troup County had 205 more residents employed in May than in April this year, and 570 more people employed than May 2016.

“There are just lots of good things going on in Troup County right now,” Crews said.

From April to May, the labor force in the Three Rivers Region, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs, increased by 1,063 to 245,014. As the number of employed residents rose, the number of unemployed also increased by 169 to 11,805.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, declined by 348, or 21.5 percent, to 1,267 in the region. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing.

Over the year, claims were down by 1,128, or 47.1 percent, from 2,395 in May 2016.

Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees.

In May, 1,987 new job openings in the Three Rivers region were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 70,120 new job openings were posted.

Local area unemployment data is not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data is available at dol.georgia.gov.