Georgia unemployment rate sets record in September

Published 8:36 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the state’s unemployment rate dipped in September to 3.7 percent, a number not reached since May 2001.

At the same time, Georgia continued to set records for jobs and employed residents, Butler said.

“September was another great month for Georgia,” the commissioner said. “We set records for jobs and employed residents. At 4.5 million and growing, Georgia has more jobs than two dozen states have population.” 

The September rate, at 3.7 percent, matched the national rate again. In September, Georgia added another 15,300 jobs to push the state’s total number to 4.57 million — a record. Over the past year, Georgia added 111,100 new jobs, or nearly 10,000 a month. People also got those jobs in record numbers.

Georgia ended September with just under 5 million employed residents. The state added 1,865 to the employment rolls for the month to set yet another record. By comparison, the state added about 8,800 folks to the employment rolls on an average month over the past year. 

“It’s great to see Georgia continue to thrive,” Butler said. “Businesses are creating jobs and men and women are getting hired at record levels.”

Annual job gains were up more than 10,000 among five different categories:

4Construction – 22,300

4Trade, transportation, utilities – 20,300

4Education, health services – 18,300

4Professional, business services – 17,800

4Leisure, hospitality – 17,200

Butler said the construction gains were “nothing short of amazing. We haven’t seen numbers like that since the Olympics. This isn’t speculative building. This is needed construction.”  

For the month, professional and business services surged by 3,800. Leisure and hospitality was close behind with another 3,500 added. Georgia’s labor force was essentially flat in September, declining by about 6,500 to end the month at 5.2 million. 

Over the past 12 months, Georgia added 66,590 people to its workforce, an average of 5,500 a month.

Unemployment claims were down in September by 14 percent. For the year, they were down by 26 percent.  The total number of claims for September, 18,234, is the lowest since June 1974.