Georgia unemployment falls to 8.2 percent

Georgia unemployment falls to 8.2 percent

May 16th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Jobs report tile

Jobs report tile

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

Georgia's jobless rate fell last month to its lowest level in nearly four and a half years, although unemployment in the Peach State remained above the national average.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that 8.2 percent of Georgia workers were out of a job during April. That was down from the 8.4 percent unemployment rate in March and the 9.1 percent jobless rate of a year ago.

The U.S. jobless rate in April was 7.5 percent last month.

Georgia added 31,200 new jobs in April, boosting employment by a healthy 0.8 percent last month alone. Over the past year, the state has added 69,400 jobs, increasing total jobs by 1.8 percent from April 2012 to April 2013.

"Georgia's unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since December 2008," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement today. "While a two-tenths of a percent drop in one month is good to see, the most important part of that is that we saw Georgia employers create over 31,000 jobs."

Most of the job gains in April came in leisure and hospitality, 10,700; professional and business services, 9,400; trade and transportation, 7,500; education and health services, 2,600; and construction, 1,800.

"We're seeing a lot of positives in construction," Butler said. "When we look at over-the-year growth in construction jobs, we're seeing our best numbers since 2007, which predates the recession."