Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 5.5% in March
By WRCB Staff
Georgia Department of Labor says that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 5.5%, a rise of one-tenth of a percentage point from February’s 5.4%. In March of 2015, the rate was 6.2%.
“Even though the rate went up slightly, March was really a good month for Georgia’s labor market,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our employers created 12,600 jobs, which is much stronger than the average for the same period over the last three years, and they had fewer lay offs. Our labor force grew by 21,570, bringing the total growth this year to more than 55,000.”
The additional labor force growth caused the rate increase, according to the GDOL. While job seekers are searching for work, they’re counted as unemployed. The number of unemployed in Georgia rose by 4,827. There were also 16,743 more Georgians employed in March.
The number of jobs in Georgia increased by 0.3% in March to 4,359,100, up from 4,346,500 in February.
Over the previous three years, Georgia has gained an average of 9,600 jobs from February to March. Most came in construction, 4,300; education and health services, 4,100; government, 1,900, along with trade, transportation and warehousing and information services, 1,100 each. The overall job gains were somewhat offset by losses in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.
“While our month-to-month job growth was strong, our over-the-year job growth was even stronger,” Butler said. “We continue to out pace the rest of the nation.” Georgia’s March-to-March job growth rate was 3.1 percent, compared to the national rate of 2 percent.
Over the year, the number of claims declined by 1,914, or 6.4% from 29,896 filed in March 2015. The decrease came mostly in construction.
Job seekers and employers can the GDOL’s online job listing service, www.employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In March, 78,986 jobs in the state were posted on Employ Georgia, with the leading sectors in health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services and retail trade.