Influx of Jobseekers Into Labor Force Pushes Georgia’s Jobless Rate Up in September


Oct. 20, 2016

ATLANTAThe Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in September, up two-tenths of a percentage point from 4.9 percent in August. The rate in September 2015 was 5.6 percent.

“In September, we had the largest increase in our labor force we’ve seen in nearly a quarter of a century,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “While having 25,737 Georgians begin looking for work in the same month caused a slight increase in the unemployment rate, it’s really good news because almost three-quarters of them landed a job right away.”

The labor force, which consists of employed people and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs, grew by 25,737 to 4,918,505 in September. The state’s labor force has grown by 134,082 since the beginning of the year. The number of employed Georgians grew by 18,669 to 4,669,747.

The number of jobs increased by 18,100, or 0.4 percent, to 4,403,400 in September. Most of the gains came in professional and business services, 7,300; government, 3,400; leisure and hospitality, 2,900; financial activities and other services, 1,500 each and construction, 1,300. The job gains were offset somewhat by losses in education and health services, 800, and trade, transportation and warehousing, 100.

“Our over-the-month job growth was solid, but it’s the over-the-year growth that continues to keep Georgia a leader in job growth,” Butler said. “Our employers have created 118,700 jobs since September of last year. That 2.8 percent growth rate is much stronger than the 1.7 percent national growth rate.”

Most of the gains came in professional and business services, 27,100; trade, transportation and warehousing, 26,100; leisure and hospitality, 24,400; education and health services, 12,400; government, 11,100; and construction, 10,500. Information services lost 2,700, and other services, 600.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 2,835, or 10.4 percent, to 24,403 in September. Most of the decrease came in retail trade, transportation and warehousing,accommodations and food services, administrative and support services and health care and social assistance, along with professional, scientific and technical services. Over the year,claims were down by 2,525, or 9.4 percent, from 26,928 in September 2015.

In September, 82,056 jobs were posted statewide on Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service available . That represents a 31 percent increase in postings from August. STEM jobs, those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, represented 34 percent of those new postings.

To learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers, and to connect with us on social media, visit .


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