WASHINGTON: State officials say Georgia’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in more than a decade. Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased for the sixth consecutive month in July to 4.7 percent. That number is down one-tenth of a percentage point, from 4.8 percent in June. In July 2016, the rate was 5.3 percent. “Our rate continues to decline as more Georgians go back to work,” Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “It’s great to see our economy growing. Since July 2016, we’ve gained 96,200 jobs, a 2.2 percent growth rate. We are outpacing national growth. In fact, the federal growth rate was only 1.5 percent.”
Georgia’s year-long job growth came in professional and business services, 29,800; leisure and hospitality, 23,300; trade, transportation and warehousing, 15,100; education and health services, 14,100; financial activities, 8,000; government, 5,100; other services, 3,000; information services, 1,400; and mining and logging, 1,100. Job losses came in manufacturing, 3,000, and construction, 1,700, according to the state Department of Labor. From June to July, Georgia lost 14,100 jobs, a 0.3 percent decline, which decreased the total number of jobs statewide to 4,479,800. The average June-to-July job increase for the past three years was 10,600, according to the state Labor Department. “In June, we more than doubled our jobs,” said Butler. “Due to the fact that a lot of summer jobs are held by students, it’s not surprising to see the July decline in jobs, especially with the earlier school start dates this year.”
Unemployment claims were up slightly by 2,787, or 10.9 percent, to 28,425. Claims were up due to seasonal losses. However, over the year unemployment claims were down by 7,214, or 20.2 percent, from 35,639 in July 2016. The total number of employed residents rose by 3,089 to 4,800,468 from June to July. “We have 143,396 more Georgians employed now than in July 2016,” said Butler. “It’s exciting to see individuals take advantage of Georgia’s continued environment of economic opportunity.” Nationally, hiring increased in 11 U.S. states in July. The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates were relatively stable in most states. They fell in 15 states and rose in 23, but many of the changes were statistically insignificant. The jobs report for states reflects the steady job gains in a recovery from the Great Recession that has entered its ninth year. The overall unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent last month as employers added 209,000.