Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday that the Georgia Mountains region grew its labor force and number of employed residents in February.
The 12-county region also posted monthly gains in labor force in January. The unemployment rate fell in February.
"These early numbers look very solid,” Butler said in a press statement. "We are seeing communities add workers and grow their labor force. It’s looking like we can expect a very productive year in terms of job creation and hiring."
The unemployment rate inched up in early 2019. The rate climbed 0.7 percentage points in January but then fell by 0.4 percentage points in February, settling at 3.4 percent. A year ago, the rate was 3.7 percent.
Nationally, the rate for February was 3.8 percent.
The labor force fell in January by 551 and grew in February by another 579. The February total was 349,725. That number is up by 2,258 from the total from February 2018.
The Georgia Mountains region ended February with 337,792 employed residents. The number decreased by 2,868 in January and rose by 1,882 in February to net at a loss of 986 over the two-month cycle.
The number of unemployment claims fell in February by 39 percent and were up in January by 73 percent. When compared to last February, claims were up by 9 percent.
In February, claims were down in manufacturing, and administrative/support services.
The Georgia Mountains region includes Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White counties.
Employ Georgia, the GDOL’s online job listing service at employgeorgia.com showed 1,404 active job postings in Georgia Mountains region for February.