The coronavirus pandemic continues, but the Georgia Department of Labor's monthly state employment report shows more Georgians are returning to work.
In the report released Thursday afternoon, State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced that Georgia’s unemployment rate for October decreased by 1.8 percentage points to reach 4.5%. Prior to the pandemic, Georgia’s unemployment rate was at an all-time low of 3.1%. Butler said Georgia has seen an 8.1 percentage drop in unemployment since April when the state reported a 12.6% unemployment rate, which was an all-time high for the state.
"The fact that we have so quickly reduced our unemployment rate to almost pre-pandemic levels demonstrates how strong our economy was prior to the crisis and how we are successfully recovering economically," Butler said. “We still have a lot of work to do in order for growth to continue, which includes filling the thousands of jobs that we currently have listed on EmployGeorgia. Our reemployment teams have been working with hundreds of companies across the state to assist in getting Georgians into higher-paying careers.”
Butler said of the over 162,000 jobs currently listed on EmployGeorgia, over half of them advertise annual salaries over $40,000. In many cases, employers are willing to train quality candidates and assist with credential attainment, according to Butler.
In October, the number of employed Georgians was up 227,202 to reach a total of 4,859,864, and the number of employed was up by 579,940 since April.
Georgia’s labor force in October saw an increase of 145,120, totaling 5,091,317. That number is also up 196,921 since the start of the pandemic in April. In October, initial unemployment claims decreased by 3% (5,124) since September to reach 196,666.
Jobs in October increased by 25,000, reaching a total of 4,493,500. That number is down 136,600 compared to this same time last year. The job total listed online at EmployGeorgia has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic from the April 2020 listing of just 73,000 jobs.