Georgia jobless rate steady at 5.8 percent

Georgia jobless rate steady at 5.8 percent

Unemployment lowest in seven years but still above U.S. average

October 15th, 2015 by Staff Report in Business Around the Region

Jobs report tile

Jobs report tile

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

Georgia's unemployment rate was unchanged in September at 5.8 percent, but the jobless rate remained the lowest rate in the Peach State in more than seven years.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that Georgia employers added 80,000 jobs over the 12 months, or a 2 percent annual growth rate in employment.  The preliminary August rate had been reported earlier at 5.9 percent, but was revised downward. The state rate was 6.9 percent in September 2014.

"While the unemployment rate held steady in September, our employers continued to grow jobs," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement today. "We saw 9,100 jobs created in September, which is one-and-a-half times the number we've averaged from August to September for the last three years."

The 5.8 percent rate in August and September across Georgia is the lowest since April 2008. But the U.S. jobless rate in the past two months — 5.1 percent — remained seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the Georgia unemployment rate.

The number of jobs in Georgia increased to 4,269,400 in September, up 0.2 percent, from August. Much of the growth, 5,400 jobs, came in state and local government, as public schools reopened. Education and health services added 3,200 jobs. Additional gains include: manufacturing, 2,100; trade, transportation and warehousing, 900; other services, 700; leisure and hospitality, 500; information services, 400; and construction, 200. The job gains were offset somewhat by losses in professional and business services, 3,400, and financial activities, 700. Over the previous three years, the state has gained an average of 6,000 jobs from August to September.

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 593 or 2.3 percent, to 26,928 in September, mostly due to an increase in temporary claims filed in manufacturing.

However, over the year, claims were down by 3,271, or 10.8 percent, from 30,199 filed in September 2014. The decline came in a number of industries, including accommodations and food services, administrative and support services, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and transportation and warehousing.

Butler urged job seekers to use the GDOL's job listing service,, where 66,845 jobs were posted throughout the state in September.