State labor force grows while jobless rate declines from 2014

ATLANTA – Georgia’s jobless rate is down one percent from a year ago. The number of unemployed in Georgia declined from 7.3 percent in May 2014 to 6.3 percent in May 2015.

The seasonally adjusted number of jobs in the state grew to 4,252,800 in May. State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the private sector showed very good job growth over the past month. “Our employers created 11,700 jobs, which is almost twice the average job growth for May over the last three years.” However, the private sector gain was somewhat offset by a loss of 7,800 government jobs, resulting in a net gain of 3,900 from April.

The loss of government jobs partially explains why the unemployment rate for May is up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 6.2 percent in April. The preliminary April rate was reported at 6.3 percent, but was revised down by one-tenth of a percentage point. Another contributing factor is the number of workers entering the labor force.

The number of workers looking for first jobs also increased. “Our labor force expanded for the 18th month in a row, and that’s probably the biggest factor in driving up the rate,” Butler said.  The labor force grew to 4,774,912, an increase of 7,379 from April, and while the new entrants are searching for work, they’re counted as unemployed. Last year in May, the labor force grew by 2,773.

Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, 11,200; leisure and hospitality, 1,700; construction, 1,300; and transportation and warehousing, 1,200.

“We had 114,900 more jobs than we did a year ago. And, the pace of job growth in Georgia at 2.8 percent is better than the national average at 2.2 percent. Right now, we’re showing a stronger pace of growth than we did last year, and 2014 was a very good year,” Butler said.

Source: Georgia Department of Labor

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Jeannie Oliver

Jeannie Oliver is a writer and PR practitioner with a long string of awards behind her name. With a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Jeannie has worked as a high school journalism teacher, an editor for the Appaloosa Journal, and a media spokesperson for...