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Georgia jobless rate matches all-time low, boasts record number of total jobs

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced Thursday that Georgia’s unemployment rate fell in October to tie the state’s all-time low, matching a record set nearly 20 years ago. 

Georgia also set new highs for jobs and employment. Several job sectors set records as well. 

“We had a record-setting month in October, and that always stands out,” Butler said. “We tied the record low unemployment rate while at the same time setting new records for employment and jobs.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp likewise celebrated the low unemployment rate and high number of jobs in a news release on Friday.

“It is a great time to be a Georgian,” Kemp said in the news release. “Unemployment rates are at historic lows. Job totals are breaking records and Georgia made businesses are hiring. From our ports and first-class infrastructure network to a nation-leading workforce, Georgia is on the minds of companies around the world. As the top state for business for the seventh consecutive year, we are proud to see Georgia-grown, private-sector companies expanding across the Peach State and investing in their local communities.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate climbed in October to 3.6 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points. The nation also grew to its labor force by 325,000, increased employment by 241,000 and added more 125,000 jobs. 

Georgia’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell in October by 0.1 percentage points to 3.4 percent. 

That number was most recently reached in December 2000. Georgia’s rate was as high as 10.6 percent in 2010 due to impacts from the Great Recession. The number has been steadily falling ever since. In fact, it’s been under 4 percent since last summer.

“These record-breaking numbers reaffirm that we cannot take our foot off the gas,” Kemp said. “In the months to come, we will roll out a rural economic development strike team to focus on attracting regional projects to all corners of Georgia. We will redouble our efforts through our university and technical college systems and Georgia QuickStart to supply the workforce necessary to meet the demands of the marketplace.”

With the record rate, Georgia’s number of unemployed residents fell to under 175,000 — the lowest total in more than 18 years.

“It was 2001 when we last saw the number of unemployed this low in Georgia,” Butler said. “There were a million fewer people in the workforce back then.”  

Georgia added 5,400 jobs in October, pushing the total to 4.64 million jobs — a new record for the state. That number is up 72,500 from the same time this past year.  

In October, the number of employed residents climbed by 12,963 and pushed Georgia’s number of employed to 4.95 million —a new record for Georgia, according to the Department of Labor.

Georgia’s labor force also grew in October by 5,479, adding to a total work force of more than 5.1 million. That number was up by 4,107 from the same month a year ago.

At the same time, new claims for unemployment increased in October. The total number of claims filed in October increased by 29 percent. They were down by about 11 percent compared with October 2018.

In October, EmployGeorgia.com noted about 95,000 job postings. 

For more information, visit dol.georgia.gov.