View a video about Georgia's May employment report
Unemployment rose last month in Georgia as high school and college students entered the job market and swelled the size of the state's labor force for the fifth consecutive month.
The Georgia Department of Labor said today that the jobless rate in May rose three-tenths of a percent to 7.2 percent, or nearly a full percentage point higher than the U.S. jobless rate of 6.3 percent in May. Georgia's increase in unemployment came despite the addition of 21,400 jobs across the Peach State last month.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the number of persons in the workforce either on the job or looking for work jumped by 14,078 during May.
Although the May rate is supposed to be seasonally adjusted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Butler said the month still typically shows unemployment rate increases in Georgia.
"This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May," Butler said. "In fact, we haven't had a rate decrease in May since 1999. This time of year, we have new jobseekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs."
Unemployment was down significantly from a year ago when Georgia's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent. Over the past year, Georgia has added 80,200 jobs and ranked among the top 10 states for job growth, Butler said.
Most of the May job gains came in professional and business services, 10,400; leisure and hospitality, 6,400; trade, transportation, and warehousing, 3,880; financial services, 1,800; and construction, 1,400. Government lost 1,900 jobs.