ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was 6.3 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 6.2 percent in April. The preliminary April rate was reported at 6.3 percent, but was revised down by one-tenth of a percentage point. The rate was 7.3 percent in May 2014.
“Our labor force expanded for the 18th month in a row, and that’s probably the biggest factor in driving up the rate,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Also, initial unemployment claims were up, but by less than one-percent.”
The labor force grew to 4,774,912, an increase of 7,379 from April, and while the new entrants are searching for work, they’re counted as unemployed. Last year in May, the labor force grew by 2,773.
The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance in May rose by 207, or 0.7 percent, from April to 27,946. Most of the increase in claims came in health care and social assistance, along with accommodations and food services. Over the year, claims were down 15.8 percent, or 5,245, from May of last year. The decline came mostly in accommodations and food services, manufacturing, construction, retail trade and transportation and warehousing.
The number of seasonally adjusted jobs grew to 4,252,800 in May. “The private sector actually had very good job growth last month,” said Butler. “Our employers created 11,700 jobs, which is almost twice the average job growth for May over the last three years.” However, the private sector gain was somewhat offset by a loss of 7,800 government jobs, resulting in a net gain of 3,900 from April.
Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, 11,200; leisure and hospitality, 1,700; construction, 1,300; and transportation and warehousing, 1,200.
“Over the year, we’re still showing strong job growth,” Butler said. “We had 114,900 more jobs than we did a year ago. And, the pace of job growth in Georgia at 2.8 percent is better than the national average at 2.2 percent. Right now, we’re showing a stronger pace of growth than we did last year, and 2014 was a very good year.”
Most of the over-the-year growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 30,800; professional and business services, 27,700; leisure and hospitality, 26,300; education and health services, 19,300; manufacturing, 6,200; financial activities, 4,600; construction, 3,600; and information services, 1,300. Government lost 3,700 jobs.
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