Last year was another banner year for Georgia for workers and the state Department of Labor, with increases in jobs, workforce, and employed residents.
The unemployment rate, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler noted, fell nearly a full point over the year. Month to month, communities all across the state routinely set records.
“This has been a great year for Georgia,” Butler said. “We exceeded everyone’s expectations. I’m confident that 2019 will be another great year. We’ll continue to improve and set records.”
Georgia ended 2018 setting records for total number of jobs at 4.6 million – a record high. The state added just under 114,000 over the past 12 months, including 16,700 in December. The unemployment rate settled at 3.6 percent as 2018 came to a close. That’s down from 4.5 percent a year ago. The rate continues to approach Georgia’s all-time low of 3.4 percent.
For the year, unemployment insurance claims also went down. There were 310,484 applications filed in 2018 – down 4 percent from the number filed in 2017. The December number fell by 8 percent from the previous month.
“Georgia continues to create jobs and put people to work,” Butler said. “These numbers show how strong the year really was.”
Some job sectors were particularly strong in 2018, the commissioner noted. The state added more than 10,000 jobs in five sectors:
Trade, transportation, utilities – 28,600
Professional/business services – 24,700
Construction – 21,500
Education, health services – 15,600
Leisure, hospitality – 13,300.
While the number of employed residents declined by 3,015 in December, Georgia still posted an annual gain of employed residents of just under 100,000. The final number for 2018 came in at 4.9 million.
Georgia’s labor force, the number of residents with jobs and those unemployed but actively looking for work, also dipped slightly in December, falling by 3,058 to end the year at 5.1 million. Still, the state ended 2018 up by more than 55,000 jobs.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL's online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 70,986 new active job postings in Georgia at year’s end. That’s nearly 20,000 more than a year ago.