Georgia unemployment hits another record low
Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 3.1% last month, well below the national jobless rate of 3.6%, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday, At the same time, the number of jobs rose to a record high of nearly 4.8 million in May, up more than 18,000 from April. “As the state continues to experience a very tight labor market, as evidenced by our low unemployment rate, our focus has been on encouraging more individuals to re-enter the workforce,” Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said Thursday. “Unless those who have chosen not to work decide they want to re-enter the workforce or more people move into the state, additional workers will be scarce.” Georgia’s unemployment rate last month was second-lowest among the 10 most populous states, above only Florida’s 3%. Among neighboring states besides Florida, only Alabama’s jobless rate of 2.8%
was lower. The Peach State also posted an all-time high number of employed workers in May with more than 5.1 million. The number of unemployed fell 3,329 to 157,542, the lowest since April 2001. “We have seen wages increase at an accelerated rate as employers compete for talent in the workplace,” Butler said. “As summer vacations ramp up, and with it more temporary jobs, we will continue to see ‘Please be patient’ signs as employers struggle to fill vacancies.”
The job sectors with the most over-the-month job gains in May included accommodation and food services, which added 5,400 jobs, and arts, entertainment and recreation, which tied with educational services by adding 3,100 jobs. The hospitality, food services and entertainment industries were among the hardest hit during the pandemic.
There are more than 227,000 jobs listed online at EmployGeorgia.com, resulting in a minimum of more than 310,000 unfilled positions.
Industries with more than 10,000 job postings last month included health care with 33,000; manufacturing with 21,000; and retail trade, which tied at 16,000 with finance and insurance as well as accommodation and food services.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.