State jobless rate drops to 4.9%, finally matches U.S. rate

[private]Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in August, which was a landmark event:  it was the first month since July 2007 that the state’s jobless rate did not exceed the national unemployment rate, which was also 4.9 percent in August.

That was a stretch of 108 months.

“This is the first time in nine years that Georgia’s unemployment rate has been as low as the national rate,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.

“When we look back to that time, we see that our job market has made significant improvements, not only as far as the rate is concerned, but we also have more jobs and more people employed than ever before,” Butler said.

The state Labor Department said The number of employed Georgians reached an all-time high of 4,651,399, as 12,928 people were hired. At the same time, the number of unemployed residents fell by 749 to 241,737, its lowest level since October 2007.

The state has gained 104,000 jobs, a 2.4 percent growth rate, since August 2015. Most of the gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing (30,300), professional and business services (25,800), leisure and hospitality (22,900), education and health services (12,300),  construction (9,500), manufacturing (5,200) and financial activities (4,400). The information services sector lost 5,000 jobs.

The number of initial claims filed for unemployment insurance benefits dropped by 8,401 (23.6 percent) to 27,238 in August. Most of the decrease was seen in manufacturing and administrative and support services, which includes temporary staffing agencies.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Georgia unemployment rate , Mark Butler