Unemployment in Georgia falls to lowest rate in a decade

Unemployment in Georgia falls to lowest rate in a decade

August 17th, 2017 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

Despite a seasonal drop in employment last month, Georgia's jobless rate in July fell to its lowest level in a decade.

The Georgia Department of Labor said today that the state's workforce shrank as many students returned to school last month, helping to cut the unemployment rate by a tenth of a percent from the previous month to 4.7 percent last month. July's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Georgia was the lowest since August 2007.

Over the past year, Georgia employers added jobs at a rate nearly 50 percent faster than the United States as a whole. Employment in the Peach State increased over the past year by 96,200 jobs, or 2.2 percent. That exceeded the national growth rate in jobs of 1.5 percent.

"Our rate continues to decline as more Georgians go back to work," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. "It's great to see our economy growing....We are outpacing national growth."

Despite Georgia's faster rate of job growth in the past year, Georgia's unemployment rate of 4.7 percent was still well above the U.S. rate of 4.3 percent in July. Georgia's jobless rate jumped to 10.5 percent in the depths of the Great Recession seven years ago and Georgia's unemployment rate has remained above the U.S. average ever since even as both state and national jobless rates have declined.

From June to July, Georgia lost 14,100 jobs, a 0.3 percent decline, which decreased the total number of jobs to 4,479,800. The average June-to-July job increase for the past three years was 10,600.

"In June, we more than doubled our jobs," Butler said. "Due to the fact that a lot of summer jobs are held by students, it's not surprising to see the July decline in jobs, especially with the earlier school start dates this year."