Georgia's unemployment rate moved down a bit in November, while businesses in the state created a record number of jobs.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler released the November numbers in a Thursday-morning report.
Georgia added nearly 100,000 jobs over the past year, according to Butler. The state unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest rate since January 2001. Labor force and employed residents are also up over the past 12 months.
The November unemployment rate came in at 3.5 percent, down .1 percent from October. A year ago, the rate was 4.5 percent. By comparison, the national rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. Georgia has lingered just below the national rate for several months.
Butler said the strong numbers are not a surprise in a state that continues to not only create jobs but put people to work.
"As we approach the end of 2018, it’s great to see so much progress," Butler said. "We have much to celebrate this holiday season. We continue to not only improve but set records."
Georgia’s labor force dipped slightly in November to end the month at 5.1 million. Even with the loss of 4,469 for the month, the labor force was still up almost 55,000 over the past year. That’s an average gain of about 4,600 every month.
Employed residents followed a similar pattern.
In November, the number slipped by 2,269 to 4.97 million. Still, Georgia counted more than 100,000 more employed residents in November that November 2017. That’s a typical increase of about 8,000 a month.
“There are a number of factors, some seasonal, that make the numbers fluctuate month to month,” Butler said. “It’s more important to watch the trends for the long term to understand what’s really going on. And, the long-term trends look positive for Georgia.”
Georgia added 4,500 jobs in November and 99,000 over the past year. That pushed Georgia to 4.6 million jobs, a new record. For the year, Georgia added more than 8,000 jobs a month.
Monthly job growth came primarily in:
- Trade, transportation, utilities; 4,800
- Professional, business services; 2,600
- Government, 1,000.
Yearly job growth’s top sectors were:
- Trade, transportation, utilities; 28,000
- Professional, business services; 19,800
- Construction; 18,200.
Claims for unemployment increased in November by almost 9 percent from October. When compared to the same period a year ago, claims were up 21 percent.
There were 73,067 statewide job postings during the month of November, down 5 percent over the month.
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